Designed by British Harry Thaler and inspired by the Italian Bar Basso, an institution during the Milan furniture fair, Bar Alto was first presented at the London Design festival in 2011. The tabletop is made up of six boxes which are wonderfully expressed by a simple black around the openings, the same like the table legs. I rather enjoy seeing a bar of this quality which is not fixzd to the ground.
David Amar is an artist and designer who has a storyteller’s approach, with an interest in layering the moments of a table. Here with the David table there is a central basket that hangs hidden below the middle, which is revealed as the table opens up. The fruit seems not just to be a weight that is carried on the table but as a tension force that’s pulling it together and balancing it out, especially when it is open and becomes an ensemble of four smaller interdependent one legged tables. Perhaps this is a deconstruction but I also see it as a poetic reconstruction.
Zaha Hadid’s office is usually reputed for it’s expression of form, but it has always had a love affair with materials too. I can remember one evening about twenty years ago her partner Patrick Schumacher getting very excited about forming concrete to a sharp point. They knew that it would crumble in places, but there was a desire for the beauty revealed when pushing a material uncharacteristically to its limits, to an extreme, and how that would reveal its intrinsic nature. With this attitude how can one not create the sublime?
The liquid glacial tables are made of acrylic, which reminds me of of the use of resins in model making to represent liquids. The resin can be coloured and manipulated, then it hardens and sets rendering a very realistic effects. When I see this technique used for water in a student’s project, I am so seduced by the water that I need to remind myself to pay attention to the rest of the model.
This table appears to be a pool of water that drains down into columns of water that form the legs, then instantly freezing to ice that retains the movement of the water that can also been seen in it’s shadows. A simple crystal like material forming a sophisticated table ensembles of one or two three legged parts. I do sort of wonder about it’s stability around the single leg end, but then isn’t that where the beauty of it is, pushing the design to an extreme.
For me this folding fork table is a sort of cousin of the shooting stick, a fantastic gift for the person who has everything. Seriously though have you ever found yourself in a garden in serious need of a horizontal surface for a mug of tea while weeding a flowerbed? Natalie Sampson obviously has.
Capstan is nautical term for a vertical drum that turns around to raise or lower heavy objects. David Feltcher‘s capstan tables for yachts have price tags that are pretty heavy weight to lift, tens of thousands of pounds. It’s a justifiable price considering their high level of complex craftsmanship. The concept of capstan extensible round table is not a new one, but Fletcher Burwell-Taylor Ltd have certainly mastered it. You just want to have one to twirl it around all day long and listen to the music of the ball bearings .
The London riots reminded me of this bedside table called Zombie. Made of cherry and steel it transforms into a shield and club, designed by the London designer James McAdam . Apparently 50% of Londoners have an object near them when they sleep for eventual self defence. This will do the trick.
I adore going into the Conran shop on rue du Bac because I find my favourite table straight away, and then emmm…..no this one is more my favourite…. but hang on…..this other one I really love the best….. and so on. Rather like a teenager’s favourite song(s) .
But eventually, like a teenager with their favourite song, I settle on “the one”. For me it is Mathew Hilton‘s Light Table. What first attracted me to it was the pattern of the table-top which is something that I couldn’t appreciate in internet images. The walnut wood is in narrow bands across the meter’s width of the table, so the natural crazy wood pattern has a light, tight contemporary rhythm. The other sculptural quality that drew me to it, (apart from it’s obviously superior craftsmanship), is the way that the table appears to lightly spring up or hover over the ground from when the leg forks off into two toes.
Made of engineered solid wood in either oak or walnut, this table comes in three lengths and also an oval version. It’s extensible with fluid movements and is constructed by the master craftsmen at De La Espada factory in Portugal. I spend several weeks a year in Portugal, so I was delighted when I came across the above photo, showing the familiar old Portuguese architecture and the contemporary light table. I knew that this is just the setting that I would like to invite people to have dinner in.
When I worked for the architect Remy Butler, We used to bring our ping pong bats to work with us to play in the park downstairs on rue de Bretagne. On summer evenings when working late it made all the difference to pop downstairs for 20 minutes of table-tennis in the early evening before hitting the computers till mid-night.
However if we’d had one of these nifty roll up nets from decathalon sports stores, we could have played on the boardroom table during the darker months too. Way better than the old screw on metal systems, it clips on in an instant and net rolls into the up-stand when you’re finished.
This sport has come a long way from it’s early days when it was called “Wiff Waff”. It was invented in the late 19th century by British army officers batting a cork overs a over a row of books across the middle of a dinning table. Turning unruly behaviour into a sport seems like a wonderfully English thing to do.
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