Trio Low Center Table
Low center table
This piece originated from my first term graduate furniture design class assignment at Art Center College of Design. The assigned challenge was to design and built in 14 weeks a full scale piece of functional furniture, suitable for outdoor use and feasible for production. Trio is a simple round table that follows the design principle of Shibui. The table’s astringent form language was in part inspired by the essential functional elegance of metal industrial objects, fixtures and hardware, such as the outline of shapes cut from steel plate, bollards, cleats, stanchions, propellers, etc.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Three broad corrugated legs functionally complete the table, articulated by vertical washes of light and shadow on the soft luster of deep gray anodized finish which complement the overall hard and austere form. The table’s aluminum structure uses halving lap joints, common to woodwork but unexpected in metalwork, where the legs and the frame perimeter come together. The precise visible seams of the joints have a sympathetic S-shaped gesture. These combined details contribute to the Trio table’s distinct identity.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Four legs are one too many. Trio's three legged frame provides solid and stable footing on uneven ground surfaces, often particularly useful for outdoor situations. The subtle corrugated section and crenelated top of the three legs provide a reliable self-leveling support for the well protected inset glass top. This feature also provides three points of safe finger clearance for good hand purchase on the glass top while setting it or lifting it out. The Trio table is made for use indoors, outdoors and transitional spaces in between.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project was begun in September and completed in December of 2013 in California, USA.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The design and prototyping work-flow consisted of four essential phases. 1. Basic design-narrative sketch, form and construction ideation with 3D modeling, photo-real presentation renderings. 2. Full scale handmade hard foam physical mock-ups of the leg section and table top support detail and then a secondary CNC milled full leg prototype made of hard maple. 3. For fabrication of the final aluminum prototype, the crescent shaped apron sections were formed and the legs were hogged out of aluminum blocks with a CNC mill with a custom fixture. 4. The fabricated pieces were final were sanded, blasted and anodized then assembled into a complete frame with the pieces bonded together with aerospace grade epoxy. For production, the legs would be derived from an extruded aluminum section with secondary CMC milling of the profile and mating joinery surfaces. The formed apron sections, made of formed 9.5 mm thick aluminum bar, also receive a secondary milling operation for precise length and faced mating surfaces.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Made of hard-anodized 6061 aluminum alloy. 9.5 mm thick inset glass top.
Diameter 1067 mm x Height 356 mm
Trio, table, coffee table, cocktail table, center table, occassional table, outdoor furniture, anodized aluminum furniture
I performed some basic image research of a wide variety of furniture brand product lines and outdoor or mixed use furniture types to ensure my design would be truly unique, functional, and viable product within it's market class or category.
The entire 14 week long process of refining this design, making mock-ups, test-milling the leg sample then ultimately fabricating the production-ready aluminum prototype was quite arduous. It involved nearly two full weeks working with Jon Mendez in Sierra Madre, CA running complex surface milling operations. There were daylong trips to Neal Feay in Santa Barbara, CA for planning at the beginning and later post-machining metal preparation, anodizing and assembly with epoxy. The piece was finished and delivered within hours of its final presentation and exhibition at Art Center College of Design to conclude my first and most demanding term in my graduate studies in environmental, furniture and fixtures design.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
All photographic images by Charles Imstepf and Marc Scimé. Renderings and image post-processing by Studio for Design.
© Marc Scimé | Studio for Design 2013