The Table Sessions
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All Episodes

The Table Sessions is a collaborative workshop where like-minded designers and thinkers can disassemble, examine and reconstruct the things and ideas that ignite our interest.

Episode 15: Game of Thrones

The Game of Thrones is played on two continents: Westeros and Essos. Westeros is a tightly defined, familiar island ruled by families who tend to fight sometimes. Essos is a sprawling, elongated land mass with diverse city-states and partially undefined regions. This west-east perspective is part of a long-standing Western storytelling tradition: define everything possible in the places that feel like home, and keep the “other” a place of endless possibility for hope or terror to arise.

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Episode 14: Laugh Track

The laugh track is a simulation of genuine enjoyment. Now, we’d rather just enjoy TV how we want to, on our own terms - and now the content creators recognize this. So, what caused this major shift in the way our television is marketed to us? The rise of the internet, the evolution of the American family model and shifting societal taboos all come into play. Maybe, the loss of the laugh track is a symbol for innocence lost - mostly for the good - making us all Larry David.

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Episode 13: Inequity Shaping Baltimore

Even in a city with strong communities, crime and vacancy permeate the urban landscape, creating inequity in areas such as public housing. This is the physical manifestation of structural racism that has always been present in Baltimore. We gathered a diverse group of designers, policy makers and Baltimoreans to strive for a deeper understanding of these root causes.

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Episode 11: 2001 Character Map

Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke teamed up to produce the beloved screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, which explores the past, present and future of humanity. We explore the sequential art of storytelling as it varies in those two arenas: film and literature. Humanity, it seems, is the main character after all.

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Episode 10: System Intervention

Donella Meadows’ leverage points for system intervention is a road-map for how to most efficiently solve a problem based on the variables at hand. In this discussion, we put on our designer hats and contemplate how this type of systems thinking can be simplified to three simple methodologies: changing the variables, changing the game & changing the rules.

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Episode 2: Seven Samurai

In Seven Samurai, the classic film by Kurosawa, our team took a particular interest in the defensible strategy of the small Japanese village in the context of defending one’s home. A feeling of “home” is precisely innate to the human endeavor, especially when that feeling in danger of being revoked by a looming, evil presence.

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