Redefining teamwork: a thought experiment

Product design, Discursive, Prototyping, Interaction


What is teamwork? in our daily basis (especially in the office) we do work as a team, but when starting to do the actual task, we are doing it by ourselves. We do our tasks separatedly and combine the results in the end, but we still call it teamwork. What is the real essence of teamwork?

A thought experiment presented with design.

A project with

Modern Artefact Club (MAC) is a design collective initiated in Bandung, trying to detach from usual known term about "design".

“Benda-benda di atas meja” Exhibition at Urbane Gallery, Bandung


Modern Artefact Club (MAC) is a design collective initiated in Bandung, trying to detach from usual known term about "design" in Indonesia (generally known as parts of arts & crafts). This collective main purpose is to focus on unorthodox approaches & sparking debate about perception and way of thinking about design, particularly in Indonesia design scene.

In december 2015, MAC organized an exhibition titled “Benda-Benda di Atas Meja”, which literally translates into: “Objects on top of the table”. The exhibition were held in Galeri Yuliansyah Akbar (Urbane), Bandung, Indonesia. Each person presented solo works about what’s on their mind about “Objects on top of the table” through explorations showcase and discussions.

Seeing tabletop as an ecosystem

The main theme of the exhibition was to explore the possibility of seeing a table as an ecosystem, where the objects are synchronizing in harmony with the user.

After “objects on top of the table” theme was chosen, I did some small observations and research about products / objects relationship with its user while doing an activity on top of the table (such as drawing and writing). The existence of a table in an office or every building that human made is almost certain. In addition, the function of a single table is simple; yet still proven useful for daily activities, even for groups / multi-user. 

Idea: exploring and playing with the definition of “teamwork”


What if there is a different approach within products we use on the table for supporting teamwork? what will happen if we take the word “teamwork” literally? what would user feel and experience, particularly with a new bond within the team, a forced dependency between team members? how could they communicate? Is it more efficient or effective? Is it really matter?   

Drawing, model, and manufacturing process

Further exploration

Aside from the initial thought of how we do teamwork, based on the theme of “Objects on top of a table”, I also found that asides from working, most of the time we do our feast on the table, making table is such one of the intimate products to fill our basic needs. Eating is an activity that is naturally and inevitably. During the development of the history and culture, people use table as a “space” and “place” to eat together in a banquet, with families or friends. Usually, when people eat together, it is not literally a group activity. Every person is busy with his/her own meal, and serve themselves with their hands, to eat.

In a banquet, does the basic purpose of each member when the meal are the same? They eat to satisfy physical needs (satiety, fullfil hunger). It is enough to be a case for re-interpret the meaning of “teamwork” on the dining table, which is manifested in the form of a cutlery set and a glass for each person at the dinner table, where each objectives can only be met if members feed each other.

Manufacturing Process

The products was made by modifying readymade objects like aluminium spoons, forks, and glasses and reworked on its handles with bamboo. Modification was done with handmade processes. The table that were used for exhibition was made from recycled parts of broken ones.