February 19th, 2013 _ _
Marjan Van Aubel comes from a family of chemists, So when says that she can make seven tables out of one existing table, I imagine a process like Disney’s Fantasia with alchemy. The actual process is a little less clean and glamorous, with the resultant animation that’s a little more Frankenstein.
The original wooden table is shaved down and these shavings are mixed with a glue and pigments, which foam up irregularly as they are pushed into a shape, then dry into a solid form. This method creates the first six tables and the seventh is from the slivers of wood that could not pass through the machine but I have been unable to find any images of this one.
The original inspiration for this technique was developed with Jamie Shaw using bio-resin to use up the waste wood and sawdust which can account for 50-80% of the original wood in the manufacturing process. It’s a similar inspiration to recycling work-shop waste that was behind the design of Thôrne & Johnsson’s Keep table, which also has a original aesthetic stemming from the way that it’s made.
photos by Wai Ming Ng
October 21st, 2012 _ _
There were some serious concerns over a table in a previous post’s ability to stop things falling through it, so I am now bring you a table which even bullets can’t penetrate, Aviad Gil‘s bullet proof table from the Conflict collection.
Avid Gil had spent a lot of time in the Gaza strip and produced many pieces inspired by the conflict. For this glass table-top engineers shot an AK47 at Volvo bullet proof glass which was then mounted in steel. I think your cups of tea will be safe on this one.
October 5th, 2012 _ _
Endless is yet another brilliant Dutch student design project. Inspired by 3D printers in 2005 Dirk Vander Kooij recycled an old industrial robot to extrude a string of recycled plastic, like a piece of spaghetti being laid along a pathway, and gradually building up the shape layer by layer. This technique also means that the design can be adjusted without having to modify a mould, thus it’s possibilities, like the plastic spaghetti that it’s made from, become endless.
May 27th, 2012 _ _
I found this transformed water-tank last-year, in the flea market in Saint Ouen, on the northern tip of Paris. It was discovered in a disused factory in the North of France, had it’s steel side cut out, then it was up-turned to create this fantastic riveted table. Yours for a mere €3700. Now that may seem excessive for a “found” object, but when you compare it with vintage, designer tables and one-off pieces, or calculate up all the costs, it is kind of price that they can demand.
May 26th, 2012 _ _
This is perhaps the most French table that I’ve ever seen, political commentary, philosophy, and a touch of the Marie Antoinettes in there somewhere. Perhaps it is the Marie Antoinette element that hints at it’s origin, the bagette table is in fact Austrian. It was first shown at the Vienna Design Week Laboratory, the idea being to illustrate that with imagination that we could manage food in a more efficient way. Fact: all the food waste from Vienna could feed half the people of Graz.
These tables were used for a meal where everything was made of bread, the cutlery the plate and of course the food. This reminds me of the medieval trencher, a bread platter that was put on the table and the food was served on it. When the meal was finished either the trencher was eaten, (a good trencher man), or it was given to the poor.
I notice that most of the bread bagettes are wholemeal, and I’m curious to know if that was an aesthetic, political or structural decision. That kind of thing is best debated over a coffee in a café, something else that’s similar between Paris and Vienna.
VIA Studio Rygalik
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.
January 17th, 2012 _ _
This Lazy Susan table bring a whole new meaning to recycled. It is made from a broken bicycle by Jennifer Bogo at the “how to make crappy stuff awesome” class in New York (she give complete instructions on how to built it). When I look around my cellar I start to think that it would be great to have that kind of class in Paris.
December 14th, 2011 _ _
Concerned with understanding and creating the design process, David Amar has created this table for which I can find no title but will call the OuLiPo table. OuLiPo means “Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle”, or workshop for potential Literature, (it is coincidentally the name of this blog’s template). OuLiPo is group of well known mathematicians and writers that give themselves rules by which they create a piece of writing. By following these rules unexpected pieces of work are created where the underlying pattern augments it’s beauty, what we commonly know as poetry. This methodology is what inspire David Amar and lead to this extraordinary result of following a given creative process.
April 19th, 2011 _ _
The name of this table, T.U. stands for “table unique”, a play on it’s usual meaning of ”taille unique”. I was delighted to find one in the Ligne Roset showroom on rue du Bac since It wasn’t exposed in the previous Ligne Rosset showroom that I’d visited.
This polyvalent system can create a stable table with whichever table top you throw at it. If you don’t have one already Ligne Roset also sells table tops in wood or resin finishes, all having a solid wooden core, and all the elements are made in France.
The concept is similar to that of the Naja table legs that I wrote about last week. The main difference between them being that this system is a trestle style wood clamp, though way chicer than any trestle table that we had in architectural school. The individual trestle element is made up of two legs which can be moved closer together if the table top is narrower, or further apart for a wider table. The T.U.’s clamp can also be adjusted to different thicknesses and there is another support on the underside of the table, (in one of the photos below), on which to rest the table top. This would curb eventual sagging. Does that sounds tricky? well it is. I imagine that it would be easier to have a well balanced table with lined up legs with this system than with the Naja table legs, what better for eating a well balanced meal?
April 5th, 2011 _ _
One of my favourite architects, Enrique Miralles, once said that if you leave an unfinished work-in-progress alone for long enough, it appears as if it was always supposed to be that way. The Keep table by Thörne & Johnsson expresses this notion beautifully. (As will my next two posts).
The wood is recuperated from other pieces of furniture and bound together with metal straps, so that each of the legs and beams have a different pattern. It does not have that “chunky wood” look that some other designers use when appealing to a raw aesthetic. It is fine lined, but certainly not fly weight and has the solidity of any high-end table.
The table top is another design surprise. I was trying to figure out what kind of resin it was, when I read that it was Linoleum. Don’t let memories of cheep plasticky kitchen floors put you off. This is a high quality lino that is hard and durable, resembling more a tiled surface that a flexible finish. (Remember linoleum is a natural product). Go and see it for yourself in the Sentou showroom on Boulevard Raspail.
While I was really getting into this table, I felt that if I were designing it I would be bothered by the fact that the table top didn’t fully touch touch the beams all around if you examined closely. I would also have put a slightly recessed channel for the beams all around it. Two things: a) I didn’t design it, and b) that’s akin to wishing that Tom Waits sings like a choir boy.