The Nandily Tea Lounge

The Nandily Tea Lounge is a modular, collapsible, movable, renegade tea lounge meant to pop up in public places for a few hours to a day and then disappear, serving free tea and providing interactive methods for strangers to connect with each other. In fall of 2019 I created and began installing the Nandily Tea Lounge, moving it around the town of Oberlin every few days for a month and leaving materials there for people to interact with, including a guest book, suggested games to play with others in the vicinity, tea (of course), a kettle, mugs (this version of the lounge would be strictly "bring your own container" to avoid biohazard nightmares), seating, lighting, instructions, signage, and places to write your favorite stories.

I'd like to expand upon this concept and create additional interactive materials like Rorschach blots, silly tarot decks and card games, nickname and secret handshake generators, and a variety of other tools to help people in the lounge feel comfortable connecting with one another. I'd also like to provide orange and green wristbands (orange for those who don't want to interact and green for those who do). The space will include programmed addressable LED strip lighting and comfortable cushioning/seating materials. If budget permits, I would love to be able to build a collapsible dome with a custom fabric cover, augment the flooring with jigsaw foam cushioning, install custom wind chimes, and laser cut lanterns to hang from the dome itself. This is similar to a lounge that I have built in the past for other events, which lives in San Diego, CA.

The lounge would be installed as a renegade space augmentation around Cleveland and surrounding towns, meant to be stumbled upon by accident. Ideally, I would leave it alone for folks to interact with at their leisure, but the necessity of handling boiling water would mean that I'd be present as the "tea master" while the lounge was installed.

Funded by Cleveland, OH (June 2020)