Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Megan Kauffman


Eating as a communal experience has existed for thousands of years, but in recent years there has been a breaking down of this experience. At the end of each overwhelming day, parents have to fight to gather everyone around the table and keep them there. It’s a difficult fight and many parents have given up entirely, relinquishing control to the children, allowing them to eat what, when, and where they choose. After becoming accustomed to eating with complete freedom with relation to food choices and dining spaces, individuals are unwilling to subject themselves to dining in their own stiff and unwelcoming dining room. If diners felt more comfortable within this space, they would be more likely to spend more time there. Combining the necessity for comfort with the desire to treat each family member uniquely, the concept arose to have each individual picking out their most comfortable dining chair. Choice empowers people and enables individuals to feel a part of the experience. While some of the reasons families don’t eat together are irreparable, keeping families together within one space through design is one way to help repair dinner time.

SECTOR B: Art and Culture of Seeing

ADVISORS:George Marcus (ARTH) | Scotty Refsynder (FNAR)