Vicarious Life is an online
platform where viewers can join
a dinner conversation by proxy.

Project Concept
& Design
Orlando Lovell

Tatjana Petschl

Alice Peach

Vicarious Life is an online platform where viewers can join a dinner conversation by proxy. Each issue offers the chance to navigate through the discussion and thereby explore the theme from multiple angles whilst taking in different viewpoints.

Whilst I was growing up, mealtimes were always my favourite source of information and places of learning. Whether discussing music with peers or attempting to follow the grown-ups’ discussions, at the dinner table was where I would consume the most.

Today our modes of accessing information have changed dramatically and, it seems, have become increasingly isolating endeavours thanks to advancing interface technology, the ensuing globalisation of privacy and dislocation of the physical encounter.

Conversations around a shared meal have been an essential vehicle for bonding, exchange and discussion throughout human history. But today we also benefit from the increased informative access and enhanced scope for interaction that the internet has given us. Therefore am interested in creating a new space that unites these two forms of communication - the digital and physical, the dinner and debate.

The Vicarious system of
dialogue begins with an
individual or small group
of maximum six people
signing up for a Vicarious
Dinner. They are given
a set topic following the
format of " ____ For Me".
Guests may include
people from all walks
of life, be they politicians
or creatives, grown ups or

The Vicarious team then
goes on to do extensive
research on the given
topic. They collect input
from the internet, using
their social media net-
works, open source, forum
sites, and paper publi-
cations. The collected in-
formation is concentrated
and visualised in text
extracts and images on a
printed tablecloth within
the pre set Vicarious
tablecloth frame design.

Once ready, the table-
cloth is then sent out to
the designated group.
They will then have dinner,
at which they digest and
discuss the contents of
the tablecloth. The dinner
here functions as a type
of editorial meeting. The
guests spend ten minutes
getting accustomed to
the information pre-
dinner and proceed to
record their dialogue on
the topic for approxi-
mately one hour.
The tablecloth and audio
recording are sent back
to Vicarious Life. The
audio is then transcribed
and tablecloth analysed
for main food colour
stains. From the dialogue
20 key phrases as pull
quotes build the structure
of the online publication,
these are matched with
suitable video clips and
gif animations.

The online publication’s
colour scheme is based
on the colour palette of
the meal stains on the
tablecloth. The text and
moving images build the
main visual elements and
are supported by black
and white illustrations by
a new illustrator for each
issue. The illustrations are
based on the pull quotes
and are a free visual
interpretation of the
spoken content.
In the last step, the issue
is published online at and
consumed by readers on-
line. Content is provided
in a seemingly random
way, yet is highly inter-
connected. The reader
can add a comment in
the last comment box.
Thus enhancing their
vicarious participation in
the dinner.
Hungry to join?

Write us and you will recieve a Vicarious Life
box and tablecloth set to have your very own
Vicarious Dinner!