Greetings and farewells seem simple, but they're highly culturally embedded, and Mark Henning's 'Normaal' project is designed to both expose that dependence and to help people without local cultural knowledge to get up to speed. The oddly decorated desk is meant to serve as a handshake station that could be used to both test and train immigrants coming into the Netherlands, where the project is based.
Normaal consists of a desk with markings and instruments on it. Those pieces, as well as the size of the desk as a whole, are calibrated to the average height range of Dutch people, and they guide those people through the steps of carrying out a normal handshake. Normaal is meant to both teach what is normal in Dutch society and highlight the absurdity of not trusting someone based on their lack of cultural knowledge.
Handshake Training Stations
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