The Chat Table is a campaign organised by Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) and supported by the Helsinki University Student Union.
FSHS approached me with the concept of their lunch hour campaign which is to encourage all students to talk and connect with each other in the everyday environment. Friendly, casual chat and human contact can lessen the general feeling of loneliness and potential mental health issues caused by it. The challenge was how to get strangers to willingly engage in conversation. In Finland this can be particularly difficult as we are quite reserved and don't naturally enjoy smalltalk.
I designed a game which harnesses curiosity, playfulness and finding things in common among the participants.
The game (which works on the principle of
spin-the-bottle) includes a spinning Chat Wheel and questions on a table ad. What makes the Chat Table game widely inclusive is that the questions don't concern only the person pointed by the Chat Wheel but the people around him/her. By answering funny and slightly random questions about your lunch companions - who you may or may not know from before - it's impossible to not engage in a light-hearted, casual chat.
The visual identity for the Chat Table has a personal, handmade look. Only body text is digital type; everything else is hand brushed and backgrounds are scanned in papers. All materials are in Finnish, English and Swedish.
"What do you have in common with the person opposite you?"
"What do you think the person on your right does for leisure?"
"Play rock-paper-scissors with the person to your left - the winner spins the Chat Wheel."
"Share your best (student)recipe!"
"What would you guess the person to your right had for breakfast?"
The spinner tops are printed on 2mm board and laser cut to shape. The boards are attached to wooden spinners.