1. Mario has a problem. His cafe is too small and the number of customers too many, who come for lunch each day. Tables are often occupied by a single person spreading out their newspaper. Some people are shy. They won't ask to share this table. It makes the small cafe even smaller, than it actually is.

2. There is a solution. Saw the table in half and slide the two halves apart. This creates a gap which a newspaper resists spanning. The other customers now feel comfortable to sit down next to a selfish man eating alone.

3. A solution creates a new problem Customers at the table are isolated like at McDonald's. But, they were initially attracted to this cafe because of the opposite; its friendly atmosphere. Mario's cafe is a place where everybody knows each other.

4. OK, they should talk. People often talk between tables. 'Could you pass me the pepper?' asks a hairdresser of the lady who lives across the road.. A conversation begins. It only needed a subject. These paraphernalia, saltshaker, ketchup, sugar etc. are protagonists of conversation The table needs an exchange mechanism to start strangers talking to each other..

5. The table top is holed. Each hole, like a children's game has a shape, inviting the placement of the paraphernalia. A balance is hidden under the table to support the possible constellations on the surface. It rocks with, the exchange of weights (a cup of coffee, a saltshaker, a pepper mill, ketchup and brown sauce containers, a sugar dispenser).

6. 'Did I do that? Sorry' The objects on the table move, as if animated. Curious. Tit-for-tat. A game begins. A conversation ensues. They become aquainted and. a gap disappears. The table slides back together.

7. Not everyone needs help It is sometimes witnessed that a group of people, already talking, don't notice the table at all. They don't need to. The table does not concern itself with them.

8. Mario talks a lot. The table has become famous among the customers, their friends, and especially children and Mario likes to explain to them how the table works. As a result, more people are coming regularly to Mario's for lunch and his original problem has become worse. Oops.

By the way, Mario has another problem. He used to put a table outside of the cafe on the pavement, especially in the summer time, to cope with the number of customers. One of his neighbours has complained to the council about the table blocking the sidewalk. The council has banned the table. There is practically no traffic during the daytime since it is a dead-end street and there is a plenty of space on the road.....

Installation for Architecture Week 1999, Mario's Cafe, Kentish Town - London

Takuro Hoshino and Jason Coleman


new-> COEvolution Work-shop design proposals for the new Danish Opera House based on coevolutionary design method by Takuro Hoshino 1 | 2

Saltshaker Peppershaker Ketchup Brown Sauce Vinegar Bottle Mayonaise Jar Olive Oil Bottle Sugardispenser