Without communal eating, no human group can hold together.


Give every institution and social group a place where people can eat together. Make the common meal a regular event. In particular, start a common lunch in every work place, so that a genuine meal around a common table (not out of boxes, machines, or bags) becomes an important, comfortable, and daily event with room for invited guests. In our own work group at the Center, we found this worked most beautifully when we took it in turns to cook the lunch. The lunch became an event: a gathering: something that each of us put our love and energy into, on our day to cook.

… this pattern helps complete all those human groups and institutions which have Common Areas at the Heart (129) in them, and most of all it helps to complete workshops and offices and extended families - The Family (75), Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80). In all of them, the common area will draw its strength from the sharing of food and drink. This pattern defines it in detail, and shows also how it helps to generate a larger social order.

If the institution is large, find some way of breaking it down into smaller groups which eat together, so that no one group which eats together has more than about a dozen people in it - Small Work Groups (148), Small Meeting Rooms (151). Build the kitchen all around the eating place like a Farmhouse Kitchen (139); make the table itself a focus of great importance - Eating Atmosphere (182)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 696medium-confidence