Dinner party tableware design

A dinner party is a traditional way to introduce acquaintances to one another, but the main element of the dinner party is its biggest hindrance: the table itself. Closer is a project from Marco A. Guadarrama that seeks to bring people physically nearer to one another while they mingle.

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Marco Guadarrama in hand

Consisting of a bowl set into a flat surface with two holes for a thumb and a drink, Closer lets guests enjoy their food while giving them the freedom to move around the room and enjoy the company of other guests.

Inspired by traditional Japanese plates, this unusual dish can be used by right-handed or left-handed people, depending on which way it is carried. Whichever hole is not occupied by the holder’s thumb is used to hold a stemmed glass, keeping libations always close at hand.

Dinner party tableware design in hand
Dinner party tableware design interaction

Closer encourages both conversation and personal space, taking away the physical barrier of a table but giving each person something to hold onto as they mingle.

“Dinner parties are a traditional way to introduce friends to one another. Closer plates free partygoers from the confines of the traditional dining table and bring people together, encouraging mingling and conversation. Closer plate lets guests enjoy their food while giving them the freedom to move around the room and enjoy the company of other people. The plate functions much like an artist’s palette, giving the user the required leverage to hold food and drinks with a single hand.”

Dinner party tableware design thumb holes

The Industrial Designer Marco Guadarrama developed the Closer plate during the program “Tradition and Innovation through Industrial Design,” organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Working with Japanese craftsmen and designers from the region of Takaoka, Japan he was determined to find the right balance between functionality and beauty for his plate.”

Dinner party tableware design face shapes

“Elegantly crafted for both left and right handed people, Closer plates facilitate networking at reunions and cocktail parties. They are also ideal for road trips, camping and lazy Sundays on the couch. Whatever the occasion, Closer plates keep the conversation going. The dish features two cutouts — one for the thumb and one for a wine glass, sake cup or small dip bowl — so that libations are always close at hand. A hollowed-out bowl fits small appetizers and hors d’oeuvres perfectly.”