December 19th, 2012 _ _
Bence Hajdu’s Classical paintings empty of people first started as an exercise at his art school in Hungry, drawing lines to examine the perspective in renaissance paintings. Then Hajdu started to find that a better way to analyse how the space in the paintings was created was to remove the people thus understanding in another way how the space operates. Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, the original is a mural in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie. One of the particularities of this painting is that Usually when it is discussed the conversation is around the people, where they’re placed, there hands or their feet. Yet without these people the only occupant of the space is their table, yet for me it is a far more poignant expression of this famous meal.
December 14th, 2012 _ _
If Santa needs to have a lunch break while flying around on his sleigh, “Dinner In The Sky” could be a likely pit stop.
The essence of a table is a place for an activity that is raised from the ground. The Dinners in the Sky takes this basic concept about 50 meters further, with their 7 tonnes worth of dinning tables that are winched into the sky by a crane. While up there a meal is eaten by 22 seat-belted dinners and served by 5 harnessed staff. These staff have included some pretty big named chefs yet I don’t think that it’s three star cooking that the real show stopper.
This whole table contraption is for rent or sale and seems to be popular as a high end corporate event. I do wonder if etiquette allows them to remind the dinner guests to visit the bathroom first, as I’m sure any wind chill factor would make any call of nature more pressing. One thing that I am sure off, dropping your cutlery would be a major faux pas.
October 20th, 2012 _ _
October 10th, 2012 _ _
Andrew Norman Wilson: (born 27 October 1950) is an English writer and newspaper columnist.
October 9th, 2012 _ _
A few weekends ago the Danmark was in Dublin Port with the tall ships race. It is a training ship, crewed by fresh young enthusiastic sailors, who get to eat well if the cooks food is as good anything as good as her dancing. The whole ship has wooden finishes throughout, with varnish is so thick that that it everything, including the tables, has a glassy clean perfection.
Apart for the below photo from the Irish Times, the photos are pretty ropey as I only had a telephone with me, but making do with what you have is what life on a ship is all about. This is in one of the two students cabins, where they hang their hammocks, sit down to classes and have their meals at one of the four ten places tables. There is a removable frame, which stops one students plate of Gronlangkal slopping over another shipmates slice of ugbrod during high seas. When dinner is finished and they want to study nautical maps, they simply lift up the frame, which is held in place by little dowels that are slotted into holes on table-top . It is then hung on hooks under the table.
The construction of the table uses the same techniques as the rest of the boat, from the screwed in steel legs, down to the black waterproof sealed joints. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to see more tables having as much care of construction given to them as the building in which they find themselves. After all this is a spot that really matters, it’s where you work, eat and gather together with your shipmates.
September 26th, 2012 _ _
In 2004 Jeroen Verhoeven won a student prize for his Cinderella table. He took the outline of two dutch eighteenth century tables, then on a 3D computer program morphed one into the other. This give a rolling shutter effect, where each part of the image is taken at a slightly different moment in time, so gradual spacial displacements are perceived as physical morphing, Frozen change. This abstraction has also softened the historic reference, so it is just that a reference, a ghost, an whispered idea, not an over present reproduction that could become a pop pastiche.
The real triumph of this piece is it’s execution. The Cnc-cut, (a 3D cutting software), plywood is precise and the lines of the laminates accentuation the swish. There is some very sophisticated thinking and technology at work on this plywood which is essentially a quite modest material. In 2009 a limited edition series in marble was produce, (apparently Brad Pit bought one), but personally I prefer Cinderella as a modest material made made beautiful.
September 24th, 2012 _ _
Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann worked in his fathers Parisian firm of painters and glazier and eventually took it over in 1907. It was here he came across the world of architects and designers. On marrying in 1910, with a new apartment, he began designing furniture, firstly for himself then for friends. At first his pieces were heavier, more influenced by the arts and crafts movement. But he dreamed of creating work of the finesse and luxury of the eighteenth century and after the war, by1920, his furniture became distinctly more lavish for a well off clientele.
He didn’t possess the craftsmanship necessary to produce this furniture, but he would draw his designs, then closely supervise their execution. Precious materials such as ebony, rosewood, ivory, galuchat (shark or ray skin), were used to conjured up these furniture jewels. Their forms had evolved from the eighteenth century forms that he so loved, to more soft edged contemporary curved line pieces, with all kinds of twentieth century ergonomic comforts. I chose to show Ruhlmann’s dressing tables, as dressing tables are a fantastic expression of this style, with their combination of detailed functionality and well groomed beauty. To guarantee that this charming universe of Ruhlmann’s designs would never be spoilt, he arranged that on his death that his firm would close down, and that, bar the works in process, no more Ruhlmann pieces would be built again.
May 28th, 2012 _ _
May 24th, 2012 _ _
Cyprien Chabert is the kind of creator that I love, a story teller. He works his murals and drawing with a simple black line, to create a world of gardens, nature managed by man. He is an urbanite that is fascinated by how culture interacts with ecology. The story of Easter island and the Birdman cult inspires him as a metaphor for ecological issues that our planet faces. He told me the story while arranging his papers around the Ile de Pâque (Easter Island) table, which he designed by tracing the outline of the island onto old table tennis table, and cutting it out.
Once upon a time Easter island was a lush forest with giant trees, and being such a tiny little island it had a very sensitive ecosystem. Settlers came and gradually the glorious forest was all wiped out. War and famine then distroyed their system of monarchy, which was replaced by the Birdman cult. Every year each of the local tribes had a candidate to be the king, and they each had a young champion, who would compete in an annual an egg hunt, (now doesn’t this just makes the name of Easter island seem all the more appropriate?) Every year the festivities would begin when the black terns flew in to nest on Motu Nui, a nearby island. The young champions would plunge off a treacherous cliff, often cutting themselves, and then either swimming across shark infested waters, or dive bleeding into the waters, to become a shark lunch. If they’d survived as far as the island they would wait for days or weeks, until they wrestled a newly laid egg from under it’s battling defensive mother, then race back to present the unbroken egg to their sponsor. The first candidate to have an egg became the Birdman, a king for a year. And as Cyprien Chabert says, this whole event probably also kept the warrior population under control.
It’s quite tricky to actually play table tennis on this table, like the ecology of a small island, it’s hard to keep the ball in play. Maybe this could be a revolutionary green way to elect new leaders. Diving into killer shark filled waters would present some health and safety issues, (though for some politicians would be a natural habitat). Instead it could be quite up lifting to have presidential candidates fight it out in a table tennis tournament on this highly symbolic table. Think of the paper, the transport, the electricity and all the money used on a traditional campaign that would be saved. This could become a beautiful contemporary ritual for the cult of the ping-pong-men.
May 20th, 2012 _ _
In the event of an earthquake the general advise is to shelter under a table. However, many of the earthquake areas of the world have poor building construction, so chunks of building will be flying around and a table with people below it is easily crushed. Not surprising as it’s primary design purpose is not to resist tons of rubble.
But this table’s primary design purpose is just that, to resist the impact of a building’s collapse and to provide a safe tunnel that will save lives. This is achieved with a crumple zone, (the little orange rods in the corners), that will give-way on impact when they absorb the energy of a ton of rubble, and deflect the rubble from the table zone.
There are two interesting design ideas here that could be adopted elsewhere. 1: Introducing crumple zones into other element of the built environment, perhaps certain corridor zones or bathrooms. 2: Redesigning simple objects that would need to function differently in an emergency situation. Maybe a table design that could be used as boat in a flood?