The Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington
The V & A Museum commissioned us to create a conference high tea in response to the theme of the day: design and risk.
Most modern definitions of risk suggest a complex web of probabilities, in which odds are assessed and actions taken only on the basis of these calculations. Our tea for Running with Scissors celebrated a less common expression of risk: risk in relation to fortune.
With the uncertainty of fortune we make discoveries, unshackled from the rigours of prudence. We coupled this notion with a visual theme: the Geomantic Figures. These ancient divining symbols are made up of four lines on which either one or two marks is made, giving a total of sixteen permutations. Each permutation has a name, and a lore associated with it.
Each conferee received a card, which corresponded to one of the sixteen figures. This card determined precisely what food was available to each attendee, from a permutational system of eight different canapes. The options varied in number and also across a palette of savoury to sweet: some received more food than others, some more sweet than savoury and vice versa, and some a balance.
Tea was sourced from the Rare Tea Company and coffee from Monmouth Coffee.