Look under the table or chair and you will probably see four tidy straight legs, but increasingly designers have been playing with this convention. You can change the height of your table, use other materials for legs or if you can’t decide if you want to go contemporary or traditional have both! Here are a few of the great legs I’ve seen trotting around some of the shows this year.
Jaime Hayon’s Multileg Table for BD Barcelona Four different wonderfully weighty wood turned legs made of Alderwood.
Boca Do Lobo’s Royal Dining Table transforms from traditional chippendale legs at one end then blasted into a vectorised future at the other. The vector pattern continues across the table top mixing old and new pattern with very high traditional quality.
As you can imagine there were plenty of fabulous legs at Milan this year.
Floris Schoonderbeek’s Axechair Chair uses a traditional axe handle from Swedish axe maker Gränsfors as its legs. Set into a cast iron chair base it maintains the connection with the axe.
Thomas Schnur Rubber Table is inspired by the humble sink plunger and made entirely of rubber. You could stick the whole table onto the wall… but then it wouldn’t really be a table. It might me of more use outside on an uneven surface as each of the rubbery legs are bendable.
The final set of super legs from Milan I’ve shown before but are worth looking at again and were from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
I’m looking forward to seeing the final set of legs in the flesh at next months London Design Festival
Bambi Table by Norwegian designer Caroline Olsson is an adjustable two-height table with legs that fold back underneath, the joints inspired by the movement of the knee joint. The table will debut at 100% Design as part of the 100% Norway stand from September 22 to 25, 2011.
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There’s an inherent honesty in the creation of these group of products. Pieces of wood held together with simple joinery; you can see exactly where one piece links with another, nothing hidden or disguised. The use of traditional joinery skills is combined with an exaggeration of purpose. They use the joint as fundamental part of the design, but emphasis its function by bringing it to our attention; the joint is not simply a method of construction that should be hidden or disguised, quite the opposite, it should be thoroughly appreciated.
DickVan Hoff has emphasised the use of joints in his The Beams series comprising a chair (pictured here) and sideboard. I have to profess a particular love for this incredibly comfortable chair having sat in it rather a lot during the London Design Festival. I was a little wary at first; its quite a sturdy statement. Having sat on it, walked around it, prodded and stroked it, I love it. Its rather ironic that having enjoyed the chair I should read this statement on his work. “Vanhoffontwerpen keenly focus on how a product works, the intuitive movements of the user and the enjoyment of use. Functionality, quality and the relationship between the product and the user are of paramount importance. A chair will always sit well when it is Vanhoffontwerpen. Functionality is more important than aesthetics, but that does not mean form follows function. The designs are icons that capture your heart, often robust in shape, yet reflecting subtle detailing. . .”
Keel Furniture by Oscar Narud has broken with conventional furniture typologies. Using detachable legs inspired by the drop down keels used for small sailing boats.The piece continues a series of furniture Narud has developed recently, inspired by the simple construction of traditional Norwegian furniture. The addition of the keel motif, taken from boat building, refreshes the tradition. Again like Van Hoff’s work these are sturdy pieces, the application of the joinery emphasis this. Despite their sturdy features they are relatively easy to disassemble, to move or (should you ever need to)repair.
1-2-3 Sit by Thinkk Studio is a flat pack, easy as to assemble stool – as easy as 123 hence the name! The steel seat has a dovetail joint that neatly slides into the Oak legs. The use of the different materials is high lighted by contrast in colour, the light Oak and the sheen of the black powder coated steel.
Chunky Joinery by Mathias Hahn (like OscarNarud another member of Okay Studio) and shown at their London Design Festival Presentation. Each designer produced a piece exploring the concept of the ‘Visitor’ . Mathias a set of occasional furniture that can be used in different situations. His sturdy piece can be used as a stool, side table, foot rest, I guess you could use it as a step it looks sturdy enough to take a fair bit of weight!
Here are 4 designs that allow you to divide your life into neat little sections. Well not that neatly, that would be rather ordinary and dull. Instead designers have created irregular abstract patterns out of tidy little compartments – organised chaos if you will.
Royal College of Art graduate Felix De Pass created Boundary Desk with the key storage elements slotting into the aluminium frame. I particularly like his bold use of colour to emphasis the different shelves. The individual pieces, the draws, cable management and and also a privacy (not shown here) slot into the frame, which can also be made to the users required size.
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullechave created a bathroom range for Axor that takes into account our own organising needs/ foibles. The collection is not constrained by a rigid set of fixtures. With over 70 pieces in the collection the individual can build up the pieces as they need. Shown here separate shelves integrated into the basin allow the tap to be positioned where you like and additional shelves can be arranged freely.
In the kitchen Gitta Gschwendtner’s Drawer Kitchen for Italian brand Schiffini appears to be a stack of random boxes. Its only round the business side of the island uit where you would actually work that you understand the function of the piece. And it has been designed to be a functional piece although personally, I have my reservations. Yes it does function but it could also drive you crazy. I’m sure that those with the budget to buy it wouldn’t have the nightmare job of cleaning it. Imagine all those food bits that’ will get stuck. I’d also imagine that it would make a superb – if a little dangerous climbing “challenge” for toddlers. I’ve come over all practical; but to me the test of a gooddesign is its seamless integration into your life. I find this too confrontational, I do love designs that visually smacks you in the face but not one that you’d just keep smacking into. I have to say though this is a concept rather than a production piece.
AF Designs created Elementi Cabinet, a sculptural handcrafted piece that’s is at the same time wholly functional. Panels have been covered in copper that have been aged and treated in different ways to build up a mosaic. Two panels open to reveal cupboards and others are drawers, its a bit of a trick to discover how each panel opens. Its a beautiful piece that, with its use of material could sit as happily in a period house as in a modern.
Modern architecture has often accused of stacking people on top of each other in a soulless little boxes. So it is a little ironic that this Hotel project by WAM architects in Zaandam Holland really has stacked a number of “houses” on top of each other. As yet there are no interior shots but its due for completion this Autumn. I would soooo love to stay there but I have a sneaky feeling its a little out of the way for Dutch Design Week. *runs off to check map of Holland*