Low Table is a series of solid wood low tables, created by the Belgian designer Marina Bautier for her own furniture and products brand, MA. After ten years of working in the furniture industry, it felt like the right time for the launch of my own label along with its own retail space. MA is short for ‘Marina’, it coincidentally means ‘the space in between’ in Japanese, a translation fitting well with the brand’s ethos. MA was launched recently, with all product manufacturing taking place in Belgium. What is clear to me from these table designs is the incredible quality and care taken, producing a quite beautiful finish to each piece. I am certainly excited to see how this brand develops.
Inspired by the shifting tectonic plates of the Bay Area, San Francisco-based, design studio Box Clever created Segment. The table’s top is made from custom 1/2″ thick concrete sections that form the structure. Between each section there is a narrow opening that continues down through the legs. The satin grey-blue colored steel frame emphasizes the lines of the channel cutting across the surface. These openings create a functional channel for a unique system of accessories and cord management. The set consists of a polished aluminum tray, a low copper dish and a brass bowl. Each object can be locked into the channel and gives the impression of floating above the table’s fractured surface. Segment meets the needs of modern lifestyle with a adaptable and versatile system of accessories and configurations that easily shift from work to leisure. Segment looks at how beauty and function can coexist and evolve from one scene to the next.
Dutch architects Fraaiheid have created a series of tables which are assembled solely on their cross shaped joints. Available in multiple sizes, they are easy and quick to put together and the designers have made a selection of sizes and finishes available as well. Besides its clean, minimal and contemporary appearance, I very much value the fact that the design of the + Tables considered minimal waste and maximum efficiency in its production. The parts of the table are precisely cut with a CNC milling machine utilizing one sheet of laminated plywood which has been sustainably produced. Imagery and details via Fraaiheid.
Italian furniture design studio Kristalia recently introduced me to one of their latest products – The Thin-K table, which will be presented at the next international trade fair in Milan. The incredibly slim Thin-K is the result of a collaborative project between Kristalia and the great Luciano Bertoncini. One of the primary features of Thin-K is of course how thin it is. Measuring a mere 6mm thickness, its structural frame is comprised of Anodised aluminium. The legs and top can be finished in a number ways, including aluminium with white, sand grey and black lacquer. The table is also available in genuine wood veneer with brush-effect, a technique that highlights the natural grain of the wood. Stunning.
A Frame is a collection of elegant linear folding tables, created by London based designer Tomás Alonso for furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard. Each table has a simple A-frame base (hence the name), which folds completely flat when the piece is disassembled. Designer explains: It is a proposal for a “temporary” piece of furniture that accommodates to contemporary living in cities, which implies living in small spaces, that change from time to time as we move from one flat to the next. I like the idea of a single colorful metal leg, it gives artistic individuality to each of these objects. The tables are made from Japanese oak and powder coated steel, they come in different sizes and diameters.
Stockholm based studio Claesson Koivisto Rune was founded by designers Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto, and Ola Rune. The multi-disciplinary studio, which was originally an architectural office, have produced Kami – a minimalist-inspired series consisting of precise and elegantly designed tables and benches. Kami (paper in Japanese), true to the rules of sobriety and elegance, features essential symbols, extremely slim profiles (up to 3mm) and geometric outlines. The Kami table is entirely made in solid bamboo. Available in natural or black, it can be a precious living room table, an elegant desk or a peculiar meeting table. The absence of screws, bolts and glues and the innovative interlock assembly underline its technical and aesthetic qualities. The shallow Kami table or bench perhaps has an even more striking beauty, in my opinion. Also made in bamboo, it measures 1800mm (L) x 450mm (W) x 190mm (H) and weighs only 15kg. Wonderful.
Ever since Marsotto, a reputable stone carving company from Italy collaborated with Milan-based industrial designer James Irvine to launch their first collection at the Marmomacc Fair, the largest stone fair worldwide back in 2009, a consistently beautiful series of marble furniture has been created out of elegant, minimalist forms. These reflect the structural integrity of the material and the natural beauty of its color and texture. These are my favorite from Irvine in the Marsotto edizioni collection. Very often, marble happens only as a detail on an object because of its cost, but I’d imagine that to design with marble from the start is to think about function and form unilaterally, exploiting the strength of the material and its sculptural attributes while taking measures to prevent wastage. The white Carrera marble is an old material that has been beautifully transformed into contemporary objects in this series.
Angle is one of the last products manufactured by the furniture company Calma, a project developed by the great Spanish product design studio SerraydelaRocha. They thus explain Angle: A project of an apparent simplicity, under which hides detailed technical work. Its geometry has been studied at the structural level for maximum rigidity of the simplest way, achieving a visual effect of lightness, with a thickness of only 13mm of porcelain. A table for large outdoor spaces – sculptural, architectural, protagonist, all aspects which will undoubtedly make this design the center of attention wherever it may be. I really think SerraydelaRocha achieved all the objectives they outlined for this project, with Angle being a perfect combination of lightness and simplicity with some aggressiveness and dynamism simultaneously, not to go unnoticed in any space.
London based designer Hugo Passos has come out with a charming new table inspired by fine art. Drawing from the colorful, geometric paintings of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, this design is called the Piet Side Table. Passos’ table mimics the geometric, colorful style of the De Stijl art movement, which Mondrian was closely associated with. The table has an asymmetrical leg structure made from solid walnut and a bright matt lacquer top. This design is available in white, black, red, blue, or yellow; naturally these colors are derived from Mondrian’s paintings. I am a huge fan of the intersection of fine art and design; and this table combines them perfectly! Passos has transformed Modrian’s timeless, iconic paintings into what is sure to become an iconic piece of furniture. I am hoping to get my hands on one of these someday- the yellow is calling my name!
Napoli based industrial designer and architect Alessandro Di Prisco recently created SILK. A one meter square table made of Corian. The versatility of Corian allows it to be thermoformed and shaped in organic shapes like the SILK table. A table that is solid as a rock but looks like a scarf taken by the wind. The apparent lightness of its shapes, which appear to flex in a natural way, is then contrasted by the strength and durability of the material from which it’s made. The sinuous shapes are the support of the table creating a visual continuity between top and bottom.
In about two weeks the annual furniture fair in Milan will take place. During the fair, Singapore based industrial designer Nathan Yong will present his latest creation; Stack. Yong created a set of colored wooden tables, differing in depth, which can be moved around and stacked according to one’s preferred configuration. Such like in 2009, when he created the sidetable named Bolle, he collaborated with the Italian manufacturer Living Divani. I like the combination of the natural blank wooden feet, created by using a tongue and groove join, and the fresh colored tops.
Viña del Mar based design studio Elemento Diseño (Jaime Zuñiga and Emmanuel Gonzalez) have created Vic – a minimal coffee table for Quattria – a Barcelona based design company of contemporary furniture, who’s focus is developing the ideas of young designers. Made from plywood and lacquered in white, the Vic coffee table, comprising of just three pieces, is assembled without any tools and would literally take seconds for one to do so. Vic measures 1150 x 700 x 402 mm, and is described by Quattria: Environmental performance is the best definition of this coffee table. In manufacturing there are few losses so that all parts are utilised to build a harmonious whole. Functional and practical with an attractive simplicity.