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.
Surface table and chair collection is a combined effort of two giants, one from the world of furniture design and one from the world of Formula One racing car design. Terence Woodgate and John Barnard teamed up to create this innovative table for British manufacturer Established & Sons, and after the success of the project added a chair to it. Both pieces are made from the same layered carbon fibre material John Barnard famously introduced for the McLaren Formula One car chassis in 1981. Thanks to the lightweight durability of the material, the table can span 3 meters while remaining super thin (the piece has a thickness of just 2mm at the edge). The Surface chair follows the same trait of delicate form and supreme structural integrity. Its paper-thin seat can withstand even the heaviest occupant. Both Surface items come in black. The table also comes in walnut veneer.
The hall of most houses and apartments is usually not very big. Half A Table by Miriam van der Lubbe and Niels van Eijk makes the room look bigger. Half a table placed against a mirror changes into a whole table. That is the idea behind Half A Table. Van der Lubbe and van Eijk play with optical illusions; although due to the thickness of the mirror it is still clear that it is a small sideboard. However, the size of the mirror will make the space feel bigger.
The KM Table, designed by french architect Jean Nouvel is a narrow 85cm wooden table, made to measure, with a minimum length of 4m. The example exhibited here measures 6m 35, according to the dimensions of the gallery. The extraordinary proportions of the table are determined by a constructive principle whereby its span is miraculously supported within the thickness of the material itself, which is a lamination of oak and hornbeam. With this building technique, any length of table is imaginable, even one kilometre…The table is produced in Italy by Unifor. Like many of his modernist predecessors who worked across related disciplines, Nouvel describes himself as an architect who also makes design. Jean Nouvel says: The key word of my work is elementariness. I’m rather looking for singularities and traits linked to simple functions. I have a special affection for tables because a table is a simple thing, but it is not because it’s simple that it is easier to do.
Mensa6 table is the latest piece by Michael Schougaard Svane, who thinks that maximum strength can be achieved with a minimal use of material and components. The number 6 refers to the thickness of the tabletop (6 mm), while Mensa is Latin for table. Pleasingly simple, the piece is comprised of only four parts. The slim tabletop is supported by two stainless steel legs attached to the perforated frame, which ensures the stability of the construction. The legs can be moved along the holes in the frame, changing the visual balance of the piece. Even though the table is big enough to accommodate ten people, it is light and can be easily carried and assembled by one person. The Mensa6 table is the winner of this year’s Reddot design award.
Distinguished Japanese design agency Nendo have created the Dancing Squares collection consisting of a series of minimalist furniture pieces based on the concept of motion. Nendo describes some of the designs: One part of the bookshelf is frozen in a tumbling cascade, creating variety in the way books can be stacked. The stool’s twist endows it with rich visual play. Lamps roll about but are stable, thanks to their planes, and cast light in many directions. The table leans as though falling away, but maintains its function as a table, and makes objects placed on it seem to sink into its folds and sways. The sense of motion, or rather dance is achieved through the clever positioning of the planes, resulting in a combating balance. My personal favourite would have to be the square open basket. Nendo have also recently introduced the Dancing Squares collection to the NTCRI exhibition in Taiwan as a combination piece.