January 14th, 2013 _ _
The W-box range of furniture is fun and interchangeable with a 1950′s feel. Made of Romanian pine which is low in knots and painted with water based acrylic paints so there is a slight hint of the wood below. There is a certain amount of choice in what parts you have in your desk as it’s a modular system. It will age well as it doesn’t have that shiny, shiny feel which would date as it got some wear and tear. It’s a range that has a character that’s immediately familiar homely without sacrificing it’s design chic.
I saw this at the last Maison et Objet expo in Paris that I was visiting with the Irish architect and artist Colin Eaton, He was getting tired of the kilometers and kilometers of furniture that was no longer inspiring, but when we arrived the Office for Design stand he just sat down, facing this desk and I wondered whether he would ever move again.
The above photo is of Andrea Palmioli on of the W-Box designers standing beside the W-box desk. While talking to him I discovered that what I originally thought to be a desk designed purely stylistically, was in fact an extraordinary well considered design from the sourcing of materials and construction to how it would perform many years after it’s initial use, an affordable, flexible and ecological creation.
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?
May 12th, 2012 _ _
It’s a great work of balance to create an object that seems so random yet is as evenly structured as Claudia Bignoli’s Paint table. Claudia Bignoli is Milanese architect who has worked on several historic buildings. She has a great interest in what’s going on in the design world and now she concentrates more on furniture design striving for simplicity.
The 150cm diameter MDF tabletop is supported by a fused aluminium base which is unified by seamless paint, (believe me that’s not easy), till it appears to be a dish of floating paint with large glops dripping to the ground.
May 6th, 2012 _ _
There is a magic effect to the Faint by Patricia Urquiola that can only truly be felt by moving around it, this also makes it next to impossible to be photographed. One end of this glass table has a white finish which then fades to transparent, so it appears to be a solid object that just quietly dematerialises. When you get close up to the zone when the screen printed white fades to halftone dots, then to transparent, there is a moiré effect that vibrates as your eye moves along it, as if the table were made from a sort of shivering techno cloud.
This table is not only a poetic marvel but also a technical masterpiece, as it’s producer, Glas Italia says -”A Monolithic table in transparent extralight glass with tempered top mm. 12 thick, and shaped feet mm. 19 thick. The feet and the top are glued together thanks to a special inclined grinding of the glass. “
It is also available in fully transparent but I think that the extraordinary quality of being invisible is only fully understood when you see it disappear.
January 11th, 2012 _ _