"I hope you find this ~Aluminating~..."

As designers we constantly seek to innovate and to improve on the current model, which is an increasingly difficult task within the information super highway.  It seems every new idea has already been done.   So, I re-visited an old idea.  A table design from my student years.  The pull for me was the intent behind this original design: "be simple to manufacture, and reduce waste". 

 Shown here is the original prototype, as it sits, in my apartment

Shown here is the original prototype, as it sits, in my apartment

This table design, originally named "Design Blanket" or "Canvas", attracted me by it's blank slate attributes.  You take a piece of metal, bend it twice, and you have a table effectively....but you also have a surface that can look or be anything - print on it, laser cut it, veneer it, paint it, scratch it, use it!  And whatever you do to it, it will always be there as table, no legs to come loose, no parts to fall off, no rust.  All this coming from the underlying material.  Aluminum.  Boasting many desirable properties, not least of which is the fact it is nearly %100 recyclable.  That's value, and that's meaningful, especially in a world filling up with waste, and built in obsolescence.

 The bare "Aluminate" set, from slightly thicker material, and with a larger bend radius

The bare "Aluminate" set, from slightly thicker material, and with a larger bend radius

It's hard to appreciate the design until you get up close to use the table, and feel the smooth curved edge of the table hugging the arch of your foot while you lounge on the couch.  The reality is, the aluminum is almost entirely hidden, only it's strength is revealed.  The real treasure is in the finishing materials.  For this new set, a single sheet of wood veneer wraps the "canvas", and the grain of the wood becomes the painting.  It also warms the table to the touch.  Underneath the surface, as always, lays the inner beauty.  So often in life the magic is hidden "beneath the surface", which is the name of the bent plywood coffee table that both preceded and inspired this new design.

Without saying too much more, I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit of the story, and with any luck it inspires you to go out and create your mind's eye.   To all the other artist's and artisans out there pushing back against the machine, here's to creating pieces that will last generations, through harnessing of the material, a focus on beauty, and as always - keeping it simple!