Furniture manufacturer Vitsœ and German industrial designer Dieter Rams are likely to be familiar names to our readers. It is a wonderful collaboration between these two that I have the pleasure of sharing with you today — the 621 Side Table. Originally designed by Rams in 1962 for Vitsœ, it has been re-engineered in 2014 with the addition of adjustable feet, satisfying Rams’s wish that was never fulfilled by the original. 621 has many uses for a simple table — not only a side table, coffee table or bedside table, 621 is excellent as the there-when-needed table. Vitsœ writes: Its simple design allows it to stand alone or be combined as a group to satisfy a surprising range of uses in the home or office. Turned on its end it can slide over a sofa — almost any sofa. This beautifully designed table will soon be available in two sizes (36cm and 45cm) and two colours (off-white & black).
Categorized “Side table”
The Wire Side Table by Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister, heavily relies on geometry and it is the play of lines that I particularly like. The side table is made out of powder coated, stainless steel and is actually more decorative than practical I imagine. This minimalist furniture piece is available in various colours including pink, tomato, hammerwhite, black, mint, aqua as well as different metals like brass and copper. During this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York the Wire Side Table was very well received.
The Blackbox sidetable is an incredibly simple piece of furniture design by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Design for the Danish firm JENSENplus, and was originally created to join the Blackbox modular bench as part of a collection. The base on the sidetable is designed so it touches the base on the bench and thereby gives the perfect position and balance. Available in Corian and wood, all edges of the sidetable have been cut off at the inside of the table to create a lighter design and at the same time adding clear detail and decoration. Simple, elegant, functional. Just that. What more do you need?
Kaki side table has been created by Taiwan based furniture designer Kenyon Yeh. A lightweight and aesthetically austere piece, Kaki can serve to hold a vase, flower pot, books or a lamp. It can even be used as an improvised writing desk by those of us who live in confined spaces. Kaki is made of powder coated metal and consists of only two elements - a bent tabletop, which rests against the wall for added stability, and two legs. I love the simplicity and versatility of the piece. Its neutral design and light frame make it easy to move around and apply to various tasks.
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.
The Button side table is a creation of Norway born Switzerland based designer Fredrik Wærnes. He developed this elegant and minimal piece with the purpose to provide versatility in the living space. The tabletop can be removed and used as a serving tray. The grooves in the middle of the wooden base keep the tray tightly and securely in place. I like the opening in the center. Aside from being a visual feature, making the tabletop resemble a button (hence the name), it creates handle and makes the piece easier to move.
We recently featured the work of Italian industrial designer and architect, Alessandro Di Prisco, with his SILK design. Today, I’m introducing you to another beautifully simplistic creation by the Napoli based designer. It is Cubico – a minimalist cubic furniture item that can be used in a variety of ways. Di Prisco explains: The Cubico design is produced by the subtractive process, progressively removing material from an accomplished figure, the cube, introducing voids, fissures in its linearity. Cubico does not have an exact position or even a specific function, as the position of the object can determine its function. Whether you use it as a magazine rack, a coffee table, a stool or even a decorative addition to your living space, Cubico is an attractive and practical piece of furniture.
As a fan of New York-based practice Snarkitecture ever since their collaboration with fashion designer Richard Chai, I have been looking forward to their new installation in Chicago’s Volume Gallery, a series of everyday objects ‘confused’ in their original function, typical context and familiar materials, producing a collection of Fun. A lamp whose globe melts away from leaning onto another lamp. A coffee table frozen in collapse under the weight of a marble that ‘pours’ its heaviness out. These objects are kept in minimal colors and forms to convey the artists’ intention. Funiture reconsiders our reality, often centering on creating confusion – whether with familiar objects in unexpected contexts, or the dissolution of recognizable volumes into irrational forms. Snarkitecture, comprising of Alex Mustonen and Daniel Asham, has often brought the fields of topography and geography into a smaller, human scale. Shelves, smooth on the top surface to function as, well, shelves, are made out of fiberglass and wood while they resemble rock excavations on the underside. Consistent in their philosophy of making architectural sense in their work, what I like most about the collection is that it serves its purpose by reminding us that sometimes it is ok not to take architecture...
Swiss born and Berlin based designer and architect Clemens Tissi recently developed his first furniture collection, comprising a number of cubic pieces. There was however, one piece in particular that caught my eye. That is the wonderfully minimal Lichtkiste light box, which serves both as a floor lamp and a side table. Initially showcased at last year’s Milan Design Week, Tissi’s Lichtkiste offers independent elements that enable “direct access to the subject area and volume, light and dark, light and shadow.” The user modulates the light by simply moving the individual elements. Made from MDF with a white or light grey, hand-painted surface finish, Lichtkiste measures 37cm x 35cm x 34cm. This piece would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to my living room.
The Nook sidetable is an apparently fairly simple and straightforward concept designed by Germany-based Lukas Franciszkiewicz… Yet it questions and challenges our very basic spatial conventions. We are used to have predetermined beliefs in placing our furniture. My aim was to create an object that demonstrates new ways of dealing with the relation between space and structure. The table correlates with architecture and other pieces of furniture. Aesthetically minimalistic but intrinsically filled with some form of questioning, however simple it may be, is the motto that frequently informs Franciszkiewicz’s designs, who is focused on research and experimental concepts, dealing with the impact of technology on human perception and behavior, often using fiction as a tool to further present his work. In a technology-oriented world increasingly filled with products and objects and stuff, I can definitely appreciate this effort in thoughtfulness.
Hong Kong born and Canada based designer Kitmen Keung has collaborated with Belgian furniture label Sixinch on their début project, Dual Cut – a modular furniture piece that employs the simplest production processes true to its materials with minimal wastage. The design features two ergonomically comfortable L-shaped foam blocks and a multi-formation ability to compose a one seater with a side table, a chaise lounge or a corner table. Dual Cut is available in Light Grey and Dark Grey and with a three-layer-system coating, it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The designer explains: Dual Cut was designed with a dedication to Sixinch’s urethane cut technology, which is processed by data without the need of molding. It was an experiment to minimise the production process and material wastage, and more importantly to maximise its function values and flexibility in real life. Not only does this look good, but it’s an effective and practical way of occupying restricted spaces in the home.
This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.