omer polak makes dishware dance in schloss hollenegg for design exhibition in austria

omer polak makes dishware dance in schloss hollenegg for design exhibition in austria

designer omer polak’s own boisterous, vibrant family gatherings inspired this dynamic piece. the installation’s name, LaZuz, means ‘to move’ in hebrew, deriving its inspiration from israeli dinner traditions that range from rituals of eating in kibbutz communities to ordinary family dinners. in israel, gathering around the table with the whole family on saturday night is a common occurence, transforming the dinner into both a ceremony and a celebration. the robotic installation was created for the AD MENSAM exhibition, in schloss hollenegg for design 2019, which explores rituals around the table, from food – its preparation and consumption – to manners and traditions.

LaZuz installation at schloss hollenegg for design. AD MENSAM 2019



polak’s memories include noisy, messy and most importantly chatty dinners, so energetic that they bring the inanimate to life. over the table, moments of communication between the participants interplay with people tying to reach the desired food plate or utensil. all of a sudden, the pots, the wine, the salads, the bread, salt and pepper are all in a state of activity, moving as if they had a life of their own.




for LaZuz, robotic technology enabled the dynamic eating experience in an installation setting, with a long dining table as its core element. the table surface consists of two layers: an upper, visible layer covered with dishes that surprisingly dance in harmony on the table top; undeneath the table, 10 small robots driving in a random and independent fashion, lead the tableware sing magnets. supported by mobsya, a swiss non-profit association, the designer had access to their educational ‘thymio’ robots.


LaZuz installation at schloss hollenegg for design. AD MENSAM 2019



each of the robots has five distance sensors in the front as well as sound sensors that helped the designers to program them in a way that they receive information automatically and create a different choreography each time. the plates and saucers used for the installation are a cultural artifact themselves, belonging to the ‘game series’ from british 19th-century porcelain manufacturer palissy.




on the skillfully crafted tableware, the visitors will find depictions of european hunting animals and birds. the selected palissy pieces playfully reflect on the topic of movement in the human relationship with food. with LaZuz, the designers aim to simulate the creation of new food rituals and inspire broad audiences to combine ancient traditions with modern technology and question people’s behavior towards the food and each other around the table.

the plates and saucers are a cultural artifact, belonging to the ‘game series’ from british 19th-century porcelain manufacturer palissy 



the designer explained how ‘coming from a mixed culture family, joining around the table for dinner is a real feast in my family. flavors, smells and colors from the jewish moroccan side, combined with the yugoslavian cuisines, create a unique eating experience to every guest. I especially love the moment of serving moroccan couscous out of the tajin pot and ending the dinner with yugoslavian slivovitz liquor. both are sharing experiencs that connect all the guests at the table; I always find the mixture funny, enriching and innovative’.


kibbutz ein-harod dining hall, 50’s

two hidden slots allowed visitors to discover the ‘magic’ behind the installation and watch the robots in action under the table


thymio robot – usually used as an educational tool for kids

schloss hollenegg for design by alice stori

AD MENSAM exhibition invitation. photography by simone sandahl



project info:


exhibition name: schloss hollenegg for design, ADMENSM exhibition

curator: alice stori

installation name: LaZuz

designer: omer polak

programmer: bart kuipers

photographer: simone sandhal



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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