The ritual of a family meal involves sharing, communication, connection and provides time for expression and bonding. Doherty says it is a place where a family can establish traditions, share experiences and feelings .
Ubiquitous technology and busy work ethics have led to a decline in this ritual. “Our media-saturated social worlds influence family relationships and dynamics.
Traditional evenings spent together eating around the family table and telling stories are now long gone,” wrote Elisa Pigeron, in her investigation of family socialization
strategies and children’s media involvement .
Thinking about ways in which interaction technologies can aid in this cause, we came up with The Buñuel, an interactive table used for creating communication and collaboration between people at the “dinner table” through haptics, visuals, and audio. The table is covered with thermochromatic paint and a web camera detects the color changes and affects sounds. Several materials were tested with the thermochromatic pigment including paper, wood and acrylics. We decided on a transparent acrylic sheet as the table top and the web camera detecting colors from under the table. To maintain transparency, the pigment was mixed with clear acrylic gel. The sound processing is being done using MaxMSP and Ableton Live.
To further the idea and create a large scale spectacle, we started researching into spaces which provide for a bigger communal dining experience like halls, restaurants, lounges etc.
The View, Mariott Marquis, is a 360 revolving, rooftop restaurant and lounge in NYC. Its on the 48th floor and claims to provide an “unparalleled dining experience” and “everchanging view”.
Every evening from 8-10pm, the tables at The View will be transformed into interactive thermochromatic tables. The translucent tables change colors in response to guest’ body heat and objects on the tables. Using a webcam from underneath, live video of the tables is recorded and then projected above each table on the ceiling. These individual ceiling projections create a large scale projection across the restaurant. Every captured video from throughout the night will be projected onto the Marriott Marquis creating a new spectacle for the connection the dinner table brings us all. Precedents: Chromazone by Karim Rashid, 1999 Destruction of the Father by Louise Bourgeois, 1974