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In 1974 Italian hero ‘Enzo Mari’ gave out a catalogue named ‘Autoprogettazione’ which means self-designed. Inside, detailed instructions for making basic, easy-to-assemble furniture pieces using standardized wooden planks and nails. He had noticed that mass-produced furniture was starting to change people's tastes away from quality and craftsmanship, so he created simple designs to help reconnect people with how things were made. Anyone could make the furniture, or variations on them, and send him a picture. I made the in my opinion most beautiful table from the book and added my own layer on top, black and white stripes. The stripes have a nice dazzling effect that distorts the 26 years old modernism a bit. Enzo Mari was not the first and certainly not the last to focus on DIY (do it yourself) furniture. Off course there was Gerrit Rietveld, Tord Boontje and nowadays we have Max Lamb. Probably every 10 or 15 years there will be a designer or two (or more) stimulating as to go back to step one. In the meantime I would like to recommend everyone to buy Mr. Maris’ book and get busy building.
The Slim Table was made as a birthday present for the 100year jubilee of Arco. Arco Asked 12 designers to design a piece of furniture that would take the furniture company into their next century. The first Idea I had was to make something impossible. Something already possible would not bring us any further, would it? But making something impossible is not really the easiest thing to do. Browsing through their collection I found a chair that had a wooden part, which wasn't really wood. It was a metal strip laminated with wood on all sides, so it looked like a piece of wood. It seemed that when you look underneath the desktops of most Arco tables you will find a lot of metal to keep those massive beams of wood in shape in any climate. One could say that Arco uses metal for construction and wood for upholstery. Quite a good specification I would say, because metal is quite easy to use for construction (more precise than wood) and wood is very nice as upholstery (it doesn't give you the chills when touching it with your bare skin). Having defined materials like that, the design for the slim table just came naturally. The slim table is an aluminum table laminated with a thin layer of wood. It measures 100cm by 200cm by 75 with 4cm thick legs. So in the end I did end up with something that looks impossible and ready to collapse.. Marcus from Elok made the first slim table, and did a very nice job.
The slim table is produced and sold by Arco (please don't bother Marcus with special requests regarding the slim table).
materials: wood veneer or solid surface, veneered steel, oak or lacquered ash
dimensions: rectangular: 75 x 160 x 90; 75 x 190 x 90; 75 x 210 x 90; 240 x 90 x 75; 280 x 90 x 75; square: 75 x 128 x 128; 75 x 150 x 150