Contract - July/August 2011 - (Page 34)

product focus angling for attention Coalesse’s new occasional table, Sebastopol, boasts an infinite number of configurations thanks to geomet Mention mathematics and it’s unlikely that creativity is the first thing to pop into one’s mind. But discoveries such as the Golden Ratio and iambic pentameter remind us that throughout histo , the study of numbers has yielded innovation in even the artistic realm. Enter Coalesse’s Sebastopol table, an attractive modular piece whose unlimited configurations are the result of designer Emilia Borgthorsdottir’s geometric calculations. It might be overstatement to call her a Pythagoras of our times, but her first piece in the contract market, which won the Best of NeoCon® Gold award in the occasional table catego , certainly demonstrates mathematical prowess. pinwheels, and bowties. Borgthorsdottir devised two Emilia Borgthorsdottir designed the Sebastopol table shapes that could pull table, available in both walnut (below, le ) and this off: a 23-by-27-inch oak, for Coalesse. version and an elongated 18-by-41-inch version. Both come in a 16- or 22-inch height. A shelf underneath provides ample storage for bags, paperwork, and other knickknacks, and can be outfitted with an optional grommet for power access. Coalesse’s PowerPod multi-outlet and accesso -holder fits in it, giving laptop- and smartphone-toting workers a place to plug in right at the table. “Technology is changing our lives at a faster rate than ever before. This poses new challenges in our interaction with environments and objects,” explains Borgthorsdottir. Sebastopol speaks to the eye as well, even when used as a standalone table. Classic oak or walnut veneer cover the outer surfaces, making the piece polished enough for office environments yet warm enough for homes; eyecatching glossy laminate on the interior surfaces injects color and contrast. Coalesse, a er all, specializes in stylish live/work products. When it came to aesthetics, the designer might have unconsciously looked to her native Iceland and its unique geography. “I was surrounded by mountains, ocean, and the extraordina energy of volcanoes,” the designer, who now lives in California, recalls. Those natural wonders seem to be reflected in the laminate palette of Smoky White, Studio Gray, Wrought Iron, Black Pearl, and Liberty Red. As for the shape, she says, “I see the tables, with their strong angular corners and different heights, as iceberg chunks floating in water. Icelandic nature and culture run deep in my core and has shaped who I am.” —Sheila Kim Reader Service No. 262 Inspired by the need for versatility “The inspiration for the tables came from the need,” says Borgthorsdottir, who wanted to host friends and family at her home but lacked sufficient surface area for entertaining groups. “So I thought about how to create a piece that serves this purpose, and how I could take it apart when I don’t need that big of a table.” While other modular occasional tables are available, they o en don’t offer much flexibility. She sought to remedy this and began playing with different shapes and angles to see what would produce the most variation. This thought process is second nature to the physical therapist–turned-designer, because the healthcare profession concerns itself with assessing the maximum potential of a patient and then formulating a program to achieve it. At the same time, her penchant for problem solving contributed to the puzzle-piecing aspect of such a concept. Utilitarian can be beautiful, too The design addresses the needs of today’s lifestyle and work trends, where space is a premium and personnel shi on the fly. Almost trapezoidal in appearance, Sebastopol is an asymmetrical quadrilateral that can be clustered into an infinite number of configurations, such as rectangles or L shapes, and more complex forms like zigzags, 34 contract july/august 2011 Photo by Karl Gudmundsson

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July/August 2011

Contract - July/August 2011
Industry News
Product Focus: Change it Up
Product Focus: Angling for Attention
Product Focus: (Good) Writing on the Wall
Product Focus: Come Together
Best of NeoCon® 2011
Making a Marc
Becoming Kate
Ray of Light
True Blue
Nature Speaks
A New Home
Bloomie's New Edition
Shring to Fitness
Practice: Smaller, Sustainable Retail
Trends: Retail Retrofit
Designers Select: Fabrics
Ad Index

Contract - July/August 2011