Studio Hanna&Seo designed ripple table as Jeonghwa Seo, a korean industrial designer, as his IM masters graduation project of Design Academy Eindhoven. They tried to translate the eastern culture mentality into a unique tea table design which offers unique tea drinking experience. They created the water layer on the tabletop to make the ripples. One’s action can cause an impact on the whole situation on this table.
Designer : Jeonghwa Seo and Hanna Chung
More description from the web:
Can intangible culture become a source of design? studio Hanna&Seo has translated mentality embedded in the eastern culture into a tea table for his IM masters graduation project of Design Academy Eindhoven.
The project was aimed to propose a design method that the psychological characteristics of local culture become a seed of design context. The results presented herein provide an interface for examining the way of considering cultural differences in psychological level in design process.
Design is a behavior that creating formal outline of cognizing world through object or communication method. Thus, we attempted to consider mentality of the East in the design process in order to consider the fundamental nature of the local culture.
Easterners commonly believe that small changes of individual person or objects can be a big impact on the whole, which lead them to modest and totalitarian social culture. This social tendency, which described as a ‘ripple effect’ in psychological term, here in translated into tea ceremony.
The water layer on the tabletop makes the ripples by the movements of users. Tea plate floats on the water while drinking tea. One’s action can cause an impact on the whole situation on this table.
Through this project we wanted to emphasize the importance of considering mentality, when designers deal with culture as a context of design. Considering the cultural psychology will provide deeper understanding of each other’s culture in the globalized world.
I'm seeing a pretty big practicality gap here. I love the psychological and sociological messages behind the design, but a table covered in water would be considered a outright liability in most households. Woe be to the first careless individual who drops their keys onto the table or a magazine. Perhaps the same messaging elements could be integrated into something more feasible? Maybe isolate the liquid (maybe a non-water substance to avoid algal growth) beneath a flexible layer of clear laminate, allowing for similar motion without the liability.
Two words: Digital Water
It may be very difficul to achieve the same result with digital water. That`s becouse the effect is result of the refraction and reflection on the water surface. That eliminates the possibility to do that with a screen.