We gathered local recipes and constructed 100 tables. On Sunday June 24 we ate lunch on Marktplatz in St. Lambrecht with 400 local residents and talked about a sustainable future where bio-farmers would be key figures in the survival of the fast-shrinking rural area. In the spirit of the exchange of knowledge and practices between the St. Lambrecht community and the students, the tables were available for people to take home. The Domenico social project will continue to make tables and benches in the winter months, when they are not working in the fields.

Title: St.Lambrecht – Gerichte auf Tischen
Dates: June 22 – July 22, 2012
Location: St.Lambrecht, Austria
The Class of the Design for the Living World in collaboration with: Bio-farmers and many individuals and families of St.Labmrecht’s community, Land Jugendverein, Domenico social project, Arche Noah (Seed Savers Assocation in Central Europe) and Naturpark network, among others
Students: Bernhard Niklaas Karger, Lea Kissing, Johanna Padge (Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle), Till Richter, William Schwartz, Mai Shirato, Julia Suwalski, Nuriye Tohermes, Chunya Yang (the School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, USA)
Supported by: Regionale12 and Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg

Relational Objects: book of local recipes, tables, meals on long table Sunday June 24
Performative actions: collecting recipes, construction of tables, Sunday lunch, roundtable discussions, distribution of tables to local community

Publication Design for the Living World, 2011/12
St.Lambrecht, Austria (pdf)

Exhibited at:



JoPad Gerichte auf Tischen from Neuwerk on Vimeo.


St.Lambrecht – Gerichte auf Tischen

The Context

Shrinking – an effect of globalization: the province of Styria – a rural region of Austria – is heavily affected by it. A study predicts that by 2040 the province of Styria will lose 20 percent of population.
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Sunday Lunch on June 24 on Marktplatz

More than 400 residents of St. Lambrecht took part in the Sunday afternoon dinner on June 24 on Marktplatz. They brought dishes they had prepared themselves, and we also prepared food, which we shared. We ate at a long table that was put together from the almost 100 tables and 50 benches we had constructed during the weeks preceding the event. Afterwards, the table and benches were available for people to take, and they all found a new home that same evening. Not everyone will use them as tables; their design allows them to be transformed them into other things, such as compost boxes and raised garden beds.


After dinner, there was a lively roundtable discussion, with younger and older residents alike exchanging ideas about the future of the region, which, they agreed, must be based primarily on the human and natural resources of the area. The discussion focused on the importance of local knowledge and networking for family gardens and farms. We have learned that every sustainable community draws on local solutions – including, indeed, recipes. The project Gerichte auf Tischen would not have been possible without a cookbook of local recipes, which travelled from house to house from February to June. The cookbook became a simple tool that helped open the hearts of the rural community to us city dwellers and that helped us get to know the region’s culture of living. The situation the people of St. Lambrecht find themselves in is this: their town is located in a part of rural Austria with a dramatically shrinking population that is witnessing the retreat of the social state and large-scale development. As we heard at the discussion on June 24, their determination to achieve a sustainable community is based on the following principles:

  • The protection of the local economy.
  • The need for greater communication on all levels, from the family to the community.
  • The preservation of traditional farming methods for a sustainable future.
  • A sense of responsibility toward the landscape and the community.
  • We identified bio-farmers as key figures in the survival of the area.

The St. Lambrecht community plans to hold a similar event next year, and the carpentry workshop at St. Lambrecht’s Abbey and the Domenico social project will continue to make tables and benches in the winter months, when they are not working in the fields.










Research field trip to St.Lambrecht, February 2012





The project Gerichte auf Tischen is also published on the website of Department of Design HFBK

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