Johannes Trautmann

Oktober / October - 2018

Kunsthochschule Kassel


The table "Monolith" is the practical part of my diploma thesis "Raumkonzept und Einrichtung für eine Offspace".

What is the Topic?

A concept for the use of the rooms of Tokonoma e.V. as a venue with a discursive character. Since 2012 they organize a weekly program held every Tuesday night with lectures, film screenings, talks, exhibitions and concerts. As a central element in the room, before the events the table serves as a place for communal dining with the artists. During the events as a platform for sharing knowledge and content, e.g. as a presentation surface for objects, center of a reading or as a stand for the equipment of the musicians.

Why does it look like this?

The main idea of ​​the design is inspired by a table at the edge of a forest that symbolizes a place of rest and congregation. The metaphor of the table between crossroads, where you get together, affects the whole concept of the space. The central feature of the room whilst the events. Like a monolith and by his size and heaviness he seems to be heavy and immovable. The minimalist aesthetics of the table is analogous to the idea of ​​forming a center for the events. This centerpiece is not the table per se, but rather the invisible platform|of|exchange|that|it|carries|in|itself.

What is special?

A table design, which, due to its size and optical massiveness, more as part of the architecture than functional piece of furniture. The manifestation of discourse without the option of compromise. The rounded ends of the table is an approach to a round table, it creates an open place without hierarchies. The width of 80 centimeters allows a conversation with the opposite. So arise, for example in lectures, integrative moments and a closer connection between speakers and listeners. After the event, it becomes a discursive space to give everybody the opportunity to further delve into dialogues.

What is new?

The table is the decision from classical lecture situations to an open discourse. The attempt to blur the clear separation between presenters and listeners. So the role of the table as a non-physical platform is far more important than its functional aspects. The joy of experimentation and the questioning of hierarchies at events is not new, but is significantly encouraged by the design "Monolith".