Table Manners is a collection of playful projects that iterate on modes of social interaction and relations, reflecting on the climate crisis and architecture's agency to shape culture and society. The project challenges normative academic structures and prioritizes bringing people together in unexpected ways that foster connection, interaction, and knowledge-building through playful means. The series entails public sessions across different institutions and venues, along with closed-doors functions—intimate conversations that encourage guests to talk about ideas that are not typically discussed in public, but which can also lead to thoughtful collective action. Together, faculty, students, practitioners, theorists, and other guests partake in discussions through formats including, but not limited to dinner parties, picnics, games of musical chairs, and performances.

Thinking deeply through participatory design processes that privilege new approaches to collaboration and shared authorship, Table Manners explores the social dynamics and power relations that emerge through the act of sharing food and meals. Each event in the series functions as an idiosyncratic opportunity to ask complex questions of architecture and other spatial disciplines, devoting time to understand multiple sides of a problem and consider possible avenues for future architectural work. Table Manners is part of other ongoing investigations by José Ibarra, whose work intersects architecture and environmental uncertainty by considering architectural processes, time, and geoempathy.

upcoming:   earthly becomings     at uw-madison     wendt commons room 203     part of the M.S. Design + Innovation 2023-24 “Becoming Transdisciplinary: Embracing Hybridity and Beyond” event series

table manners