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The artists' view
Dinner is served!
Vera Franke
Table settings made of hair and wool or a meal themed as a journey through time: students at Zurich University of the Arts are experimenting with culinary situations and projects that are kooky and refreshing.
©Zurich University of the Art

Project “Zu Tisch!” – Dinner is served!

Eating as a journey through time, and place settings made of hair and wool. In the project “Zu Tisch!” students in the Bachelor programme for Art Education at Zurich University of the Arts focus on the culture of eating. 

They investigate objects, situations and rituals related to eating, design new place settings and tables or stage alternative forms of eating together. These may facilitate or hinder communication, satirise eating rituals or devise new possibilities for consuming food together. Each project ends with a festive event: the students serve guests a meal and so put their works to the test. 

The following four examples show how eating may be enjoyed in new and different ways.

Instructors: Vera Franke (concept and project director), Stefan Wettstein, Marie-Theres Huber, Andreas Hofer, Serge Lunin, Dodó Deér.

Project “Terra bite” 

A new take on eating “organically”: four place settings are redesigned using objects found in nature, and food is prepared to match. The four guests are served little delicacies and wine. The presentation is subdivided into themes: “hair and wool”, “plants, bark and mushrooms”, and  “feathers and eggshells”.

Students: D. Seccia, P. Fellmann, P. Good, M. Gubler


Project “Meet to eat” 

An ironic commentary on today’s (often inadequate) table culture, this is also an attempt to enhance eating at the computer. “Meet to eat” has been conceived as an interactive social eating portal. 

A special “Meet to eat” accessory is a keyboard attachment that allows you to eat on your laptop. The computer becomes an integral part of the meal, and enables a new and refined form of table culture. Via the Internet you can choose a conversation partner and enjoy a meal “together”.

Students: M. Aeberhard, A. Henssler, A. Mischler, A. Rudin


Project: TransforMaTion

Every day we sit down at the table and eat together. The seating arrangement is always the same and we each eat from our own plate. What happens when we alter this ritual? If we sit in the table rather than at it? There are three holes in the tabletop. The three guests eat a three-course meal. After each course the place settings are rearranged. 

Students: E. Engeli, F. Hugelshofer, C. Brunner 


Project: “Time travel”

The students take their guests on a journey through time that begins in the future and goes back to the remote time of antiquity. In the students’ vision of the future, we all wear place settings that are directly attached to our bodies.  The present is represented by a sushi bar combined with eating utensils from aeroplanes. 

In the industrial age their guests eat out of tin cans from a conveyor belt; and in the middle ages, from stoneware pots with their hands. In antiquity, they enjoy their food under the canopy of a tent.


Students: D. Seccia, P. Fellmann, P. Good, M. Gubler, M. Aeberhard, A. Henssler, A. Mischler, A. Rudin, E. Engeli, F. Hugelshofer, C. Brunner

Teachers: Vera Franke (concept and project director), Stefan Wettstein, Marie-Theres Huber, Andreas Hofer, Serge Lunin, Dodó Deér.

Vera Franke

Designer, Lecturer

Vera Franke is an exhibition designer whose office Franke | Steinert is based in Berlin. Sie teaches at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and at the Berlin Universtiy of the Arts. Since 2007 she is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Analysis at the Zurich University of the Arts.

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