Shannon Spilker & Bob Krikac | WSU Students Create Innovative SPLATT Table

March 29, 2023

On this episode, we're joined by Bob Krikac, an associate professor in the interior design program at Washington State University, and Shannon Spilker, 2019 Washington State graduate and participate in the interior design program at WSU. They share their experience working on a unique project called the SPLATT Table. The SPLATT Table is a student-led project aimed at creating a sense of belonging on campus by designing an equitable space that serves all users in equal proportion.

Shannon was scouted by her professors along with eight other students from different disciplines at WSU in 2017 to work on the project. They started by brainstorming bench ideas but realized that benches are transitory places and didn't fulfill the prompt of creating a sense of belonging. So, they pivoted and decided to make a table instead.

Since then, they've made six prototypes, conducted focus groups for ergonomics, tested anthropometrics for ADA and able-bodied users, and tweaked the design to accomplish the table's three main goals: to create an equitable space, facilitate concurrent small group interaction, and redefine belonging.

The SPLATT Table achieves these goals by using radial symmetry, having no head of the table, and offering the opportunity to interact without the necessity to. It allows people to maintain their privacy while sitting in proximity to others, creating the possibility for surprising connections to be made.

Sarah and Shannon have been committed to the SPLATT Table since their graduation, working alongside their faculty advisor, Bob Krikac, associate professor of Interior Design at WSU. They've learned valuable lessons in interdisciplinary collaboration and team building through their work on the project, which Shannon plans to incorporate in her future classroom as she pursues a Masters in Elementary Education.

Bob Krikac, who was invited to participate in the formation of the group that eventually created the SPLATT Table, continues to collaborate with Sarah and Shannon as they work to bring this unique educational product to market.

Tune in to this episode to learn more about the SPLATT Table, its design principles, and the team's journey in bringing it to life.

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