Cork Talk

A collaborative project with fellow designer Flo Anizet. Our brief was to create a project based on urbanisation and ultimately design a product that would be used 10-20 years into the future, but based on our lives in the present day. We started to think about the individual who works all day and doesn’t have time to go out and socialise all the time but enjoys being able to talk to someone when eating or drinking.

We then looked back over our research experiments, which included role playing a dinner party, experimenting with sound within a controlled environment and how this can affect being social when eating alone. However, we decided to look back at wine or drink being the centre of the social encounters at the table. We developed this idea and started to play with the idea of a decanter and how it could be a device to connect you to other people, so we carried out some very quick prototyping ideas of how it could actually work.

We had the idea of using an electronic tablet device, external to the decanter to connect you to people around the world with similar interests to you. However, we still wanted the decanter to be used within the product so started to play around with how this could be developed. We discovered Ham radios and how they are used to connect people around the world, and how people can communicate over them. From this we really liked the idea of turning an object and tuning into a person in order to talk to them, and this is where the decanter comes in. The cork from the top of the decanter is used on top of the tablet device to control the app to select the person who you wish to talk to.

Our final outcome is Cork Talk; a product that explores how to be social when you live alone. The user pours themselves a drink from the decanter, then enters into the application what they are drinking at the time. The app then searches for other users around the world who are drinking the same drink; the more specific the user is, the fewer results are found. The user can then choose who they wish to speak to and ultimately enjoy a glass of the same drink with anyone around the world.

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