Arriving at simple solutions often requires a certain level of complexity. Simple is not easy. Easy just happens, but simple is planned, carefully curated, and well executed. And when working glass, this can of course be very complex. We spoke to furniture designer Daniel Schofield to discuss his beautiful Blur Tables collection, made for Conran, and comprised of fluted glass.
I’ve long been an admirer of fluted glass, the simple graphical lines and the way it can break up and distort its surroundings creating subtle visual interest—this accompanied with the inherent lightness of glass has always appealed to me.
Using this material has an interesting spatial presence. It blends into its surroundings without disappearing entirely, but also still commands space. The form of the tables was purposely left simple to allow the material to do the talking, while the corners of the glass are rounded to soften the whole composition. Daniel explains that this is where the complexity was.
It was a struggle to cut the rounded corners on the fluted glass and at first we were told it wasn’t possible. We persisted and eventually they found a way, I think they had to cut it really slowly. The fluted sections are actually two pieces back to back so getting them to line up takes some real precision. The whole piece is then seamlessly UV bonded together.
The result is one of timelessness. Now, we all know this is a term that is often used mindlessly in today’s design industry, but it is fair to say the Blur Tables possess a certain contemporary aesthetic without offering a distinguishable date of design. This is no easy feat. And it is the outcome of a simple and minimal approach.
Often when I’m working with an interesting material I really try to pare back the design. This isn’t trying to be reductive from a stylistic point of view, but allowing the material to take centre stage and express itself fully.