Monday, 20 August 2012

Ongoing Table

Ongoing Table © Alberto Ferretto

Fabrica and &Foam: Still Lights series

Ongoing Table, dining table (David Peñuela, Spain)

The dinner party. A test of your skill in hospitality, cooking and conversation. It's easy when you're all out in a bar. A couple of beers and some nachos and everyone's happy. But with a dinner party, you have to pull out a few more stops. Actually cook something. Spruce up the place. Wear a shirt with a collar. And entertain, for heaven's sake. It's not easy. I've tried it a few times and mostly come up short. When you start to see the guests stabbing the table between their fingers with the fish knife, you know you've lost them.

Ongoing Table © Alberto Ferretto

David Peñuela's beautiful dining table no doubt would have saved me on those occasions. Inspired by still life flower arrangements, Ongoing Table uses an integrated screen to display a series of languid, colourful animations that feed your eyes while you fill your stomach.

The concept's starting point was a series of images of flowers taken from above by fellow Fabrica student, Alberto Ferretto. Peñuela, an interaction designer and developer, then used a triangulation algorithm (listen to me, it sounds like I know what that means) to convert those images into reduced digital forms. These were animated to drop away and then reform over the space of an hour. This digital life cycle repeats every hour with a new floral arrangement for as long as you like (or your dinner party lasts). The display is hidden underneath a reflective smoked glass panel so you could even casually switch the animation on half way through your starters for that extra gasp value from your diners (watch out they don't choke).

Ongoing Table © Alberto Ferretto

It's a solution that fits neatly within the Still Lights collection. The relationship between subject, light and frame is entirely natural. Even the colour of the orange power cord, with its association to energy, ties in well with the idea of giving life to stillness. Penuela has also created unique table mats to finish off the theme. The set of six, when placed together, form a still of one of the animated floral arrangements. Now I'm no expert, but if all this doesn't get your dinner party going, then it really is time to call it a day and order pizza.

Jonathan Crawford

You can see Ongoing Table and the other products in the series Still Lights at &Foam until 21 October 2012.

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