Off The Table

Location Design Lab, 9th floor
Ticket price Free admission

How can I create a small but beautiful table setting on my living room floor, on my bed, or next to my computer?

The Off The Table – Settings Without A Table exhibition opening on March 9, 2018 at the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre offers a glimpse into the homes of opinion leaders and the different ways they approach everyday dining occasions.   

Mini table settings by opinion leaders provide inspiration at the Off The Table exhibition

A beautiful table setting is a part of the dining occasion and an important factor in creating the right type of atmosphere. As the number of one- and two-person households increases and people are living in smaller homes, our table-setting habits are changing and becoming more diverse. The exhibition includes videos and installations to show how three well-known opinion leaders go about setting their tables at home. The exhibition features YouTuber Hermanni, White Trash Disease blogger Natalia Tolmatsova, and Aamukahvilla blogger Henriikka Simojoki.

"I work from home and I usually set the table for lunch next to my computer. Table-setting is everyday esthetics at their best, and it's important to me that lunch feels like a lovely little break in the middle of a busy day. I love good food and beautiful things, and that's why it's natural for me to set my table attractively, even if I'm eating alone. People often say they don't feel like making an effort when they eat alone - well, I see things differently." 

- Natalia Tolmatsova

People are taking a less formal approach to eating. The 'everyday scenes' set by the opinion leaders provide tips on how to create an esthetically impressive mini table setting in a relaxed way.

Inventiveness is respected   

In the future, smaller and smaller homes will be built. In late 2017, a decision was enacted in Finland permitting the construction of student apartments with 16 square meters (170 square feet) of floor space, down from the previous requirement of 20 square meters (215 square feet). In the future, food will be made in smaller spaces and, increasingly, it will be eaten somewhere other than a conventional dining table.  As homes become smaller, table settings will become increasingly inventive and objects will have more uses. The same dish must be suitable for preparing food, serving it, and also storing it. In the future, tableware will need to be multifunctional, as well as practical and durable.  

"When space is limited, I want to use the same dish for several different purposes - for example, as a salad bowl, a lasagne dish, and a freezer container. It's also good if the tableware can stack up smartly and save space."  

- Henriikka Simojoki

The Off The Table - Settings Without A Table exhibition is open from March 9 to May 13, 2018
at the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre, at Hämeentie 135 A, Helsinki (floor 9).

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