May 13th, 2013 _ Comments Off _
Spotted today at the flea market in Saint Ouen, two 1950′s side tables that are surprisingly light weight, as I believe the metal to be folded sheet bronze so it is hollow, and the table top in shagreen on wood. They are also sturdy, you don’t get the feeling that they could topple over as you do with other side tables of this era. Quite warm looking they would work in a technophobic interior that couldn’t take either light weight or 1959′s style.
April 15th, 2013 _ Comments Off _
This ultimate transformer table was designed for the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum by the dutch design firm Studio Makkink and Bey. Makkink an architect, and Bay a graphic designer, run a multidisciplinary design studio where boundaries are broken down with lateral thinking that produces original design ideas such as this. A trestle is made to be adaptable and mobile, but this one is even more so. This table has multiple configurations, regular table, extended table, small individual writing table or easel.
The main material is HPL (high pressure laminate) and it comes in different colours. These can be interchanged and joined with metal edge pieces, that extend the multi-functionalism as they can also be used as a pen holder with the easel configuration. The unused parts of the system can be stored away on a stacker system that has the coloured table tops facing outwards like an attractive panel. The HPL legs are another element that looses the corporate feel that tables designed for collective use have,with functional metal tubes.
I imagine that the one big frustration that you’d feel with this poly-functioning system, is when you want to take a table top from the stack, and your favourite colour is at the bottom, so you end up having to make do with another colour instead.
February 22nd, 2013 _ Comments Off _
Thierry Dreyfus is renowned for his use of light in his work as an artist and art director, particular for fashion shows. One of the characteristics of his dramatic use of light is is the vast heavy darkness with accompanies it. This comes to play in the Hommage table. A massive black aluminium I beam, fit to carry the heavens split down the middle, to form two independent pieced that can be moved separately, revealing the rugged gold surface of it’s essence shining through.
Each side weighing only 100kg even though it appears to weigh tonnes. This contrast adds to the dual aspects of the Hommage table, light and dark, calm and violent, the power of one aspect accentuating the other. Following through on this logic perhaps the perfect setting for this limited edition piece would be in some cheep shed out of town?
February 7th, 2013 _ _
Oskar Zeita is famous in the design world for his inflatable metal furniture. Using the technique called FiDU, Free-Internal-Pressure (Druck)-Forming (Umformung). FiDu is the process of forming metal by blowing up super-thin sheets of metal that have been welded together. Sort of like kids metallic looking helium balloons.
One of the great advantaged of this process is that metal objects can be transported flat, then blown up somewhere else thus saving on transport and storage costs. Another great advantage is the unbelievable strength that these objects have. For instance the steel three legged plopp stool weighs 3.4kg but can carry 2 tonnes.
There are two types of trestles in the Koza, (Which means goat,) range. One where it is all one piece, and a second Koza II where it is made of two piece joined together. The second version may not look as pure, but it’s easier to pack, easier to attach a table-top to and possible to use different colours for each side of the trestle. As of yet they don’t come with a table top which is a shame as Oskar Zieta has done some fascinating research into making strong light weight metal structures. Who knows maybe right now he’s designing an aluminium table-top that can fit in a handbag and be blown up with a bicycle pump.
January 31st, 2013 _ _
January 29th, 2013 _ _
Another table where cast aluminium hugs around the wood, is this side table by the Israeli designer Hilla Shamia. Only this time the materials are getting much closer up, Hilla Shamia has just put the wood in the casting moulds so that they fuse together, so no need for creating joints. I love the way you can feel the heat when you see the between them.
January 27th, 2013 _ _
December 18th, 2012 _ _
There is something very christmassy about a group of coffee tables that looks like a cross between a starry sky and a flock of sheep. This Carrara marble table with plastic coated steel legs was designed by Olivier Peyricot in 2008. He is one of those uber trendy Parisian designers that has a C.V. that many designers wouldn’t mind finding under the tree with their own name on it. Before turning forty he has already participated in exhibitions in the Pompidou centre in Paris and the Museum of modern art in New York, and of course this herd of interlocking tables that was exhibited in the Tools Galerie in the Marais in Paris.
December 13th, 2012 _ _
Hubert Le Gall’s very simple steel table Margurite (daisy) works as a pair with the ombre chinée (mottled shadow) rug, which reminds me of the Persian rugs that represent a garden. This table and rug pair is another example of how Hubert Le Gall’s objects can have a double function, and more importantly to me, how the invent their own site, how they created a sense of place where objects interact with their environment. There is the very obvious level of the shadow of the daisies that is throw on the rug, but there is also the softness and fineness of the flowers even though they are in steel, it is almost a 3D projection of the rug rather than just the object that throws the shadow.
December 6th, 2012 _ _
Today Oscar Niemeyer has gone to redesign heaven, I believe he is upto the job. His large glass and steel cantilevered table Neimeyer, shows all the purity and monolithic lightness of Oscar Niemayer’s creations. Niemeyer, a Brazilian, was the great architect of Brazilia and, along with his contemporaries, the Italian Pier Luigi Nervi, and the Finish American Eero Saarinen, was one of the great poets of reinforced concrete.
One of the things that makes me most fond of this table is the fact that it was designed in 1985 the year that I left school. But like most of Niemeyer’s work it has that sort of basic timeless modernism, that makes you wonder if he designed the egg.