Let’s All Go to the Lunch Table: Performance in Interactive Semi-Public Spaces


In this paper, we discuss our ongoing work on a digitally augmented lunch area in our research lab. As we repeatedly observed how digital resources have the potential to enrich conversations in this semi-public, casual setting, we became interested in exploring the relationship between physical and digital artefacts in the context of social interaction. We turn to performance as a promising research perspective on group interaction, in particular with regard to the shifting and overlapping roles of actors and spectators in this semi-public scenario. As part of this exploration, we are currently designing software and hardware including a lunch table retrofitted with a horizontal multi-touch table that is connected to a nearby large display wall. We are exploring how performative behaviour emerges within interaction among people engaging in casual activities as they typically occur in a lunch area.