You’d better hope that you and your dining partner like each other enough to sit through an entire meal without getting up if you take a seat at this table, which will knock one person to the floor if the other leaves. ‘De Tafelwip’ by Dutch designer Marleen Jansen is a table with seating based on a playground classic, a see-saw that requires cooperation between two people for either to be comfortable.
The table is intended to remind diners not to get distracted during meals, focusing on their food and the company seated across from them. Ensuring that you remain balanced while eating requires more of your attention, making it hard to watch TV or scroll around Facebook on your phone.
De Tafelwip was developed as part of Jansen’s dissertation, entitled ‘Being Forced Voluntarily,’ on the subject of table manners. “If one leaves the table, the other diner ends up on the floor! Definitely not a charming thing to do!”