We bring foods on the table, also conversation. By triggering memories with food, we showcase the nuanced impact of war, from the children's perspective.

The project OpenTable is a participatory design created by visual designer Chu with Ukrainian children living in London who were forced to emigrate due to the Ukrainian war.

The Chinese proverb "Brick Throwing Leads to Jade" illustrates the practice of using relevant information to trigger deeper memories. By showing the children's drawings of their favourite traditional Ukrainian food and the subtle dialogue that emerged during the drawing process, the children's particular background and the impact of the war on them are revealed softly.

The workshop was a lot of fun, although the theme was drawing traditional food, some kids performed Ukrainian songs and dances, some taught me how to say “idiot” in Ukrainian, and one child even invited me to his home, hoping his mum could teach me to fold better paper aeroplanes since I’m terrible with it.

Throughout the process, I gathered a lot of unexpected information. Children are not very capable of telling stories at length, the way I learnt about their stories was more by capturing casual references in random conversation. For example, the child who wanted me to learn origami aeroplane folding from his mother, while inviting me, told me that his mother had prepared a chocolate cake because there was a friend of his coming and he didn't have a mother.

His nonchalant tone left me stunned, realizing the profound impact of these subtle messages, which is like being punched in the face when you are unprepared. Just as the ripples of war impact these children, not always evident, they still require attention.