Metafora Marble Coffee Table

Contemporary is merely a movement within the creative community. What it often lacks is an aesthetic durability over time. Simplicity then becomes a median for this type of temporal modernity and timelessness.

A very notable case study is the Metafora Marble Coffee Table by Massimo Vignelli. Made in Italy in 1979, the design withstands time with a minimal appearance, consisting of only a plane of glass residing on four three-dimensional marble forms: the cube, the pyramid, the cylinder and the sphere. These members work together cohesively to form a stability that holds the glass in place, while being able to interchange positions with one another for different configurations. The decision to superimpose black marble under a transparent sheet of glass shows a desire to highlight the organic patterns against the industrial product—a contrast that is quite romantic.

What I really appreciate about the design is Massimo’s forward vision for Metafora. With just basic geometry and attentive calculations for each form’s proportion, he was able to inject longevity into his thinking and give a one-of-a-kind design that transcends design movements.