Since ancient times, meals have always been opportunities to socialize and connect with fellow human beings. The dining table evolved from ancient hearths to become a more convenient location for eating, and some families today still make it a point to preserve the sanctity of those meals. The advent of TVs and, later, smartphones sort of diluted the significance of gathering around the dining table, turning it into a boring functional piece of furniture rather than a humanizing experience. It might be difficult to change people’s habits and mindsets, but visual cues and thoughtful designs can help bring back people’s attention and set the right mood. This metal table, for example, looks both like a physics impossibility and a toy, exhibiting the spirit of frivolity inspired by one of the most popular artists of modern times.
Designer: Michael Samoriz
Although famous for many art pieces and sculptures, Jeff Koons is probably best known for his Balloon Dog. A nod to the common balloon animal seen in amusement parks and carnivals, the sculpture made from mirror-polished stainless steel portrays contrasting elements of thematic lightness and material weight. It is fun yet serious at the same time, almost like what a group meal should be.
The D12 dining table tries to capture not only the spirit but also the form of Koon’s balloon animal sculptures. Unlike most dining tables made of a combination of materials like wood, metal, and glass, this furniture goes all out with stainless steel. Similar to those toy-like art pieces, all surfaces of the table are polished to a mirror-like finish, reflecting and distorting images to create interesting visual patterns. A darker polished metal version does the same with reflected light while offering a more subdued appearance.
Just like the Balloon Dog, the shapes of the D12 dining table are simple and almost too basic. The tabletop is a simple rectangle with rounded edges that join sharply at the corners. The legs are nothing more than elongated capsules that easily remind one of those most basic balloon shapes. The way the legs connect to the top piques one’s interest in how it manages to maintain its stability, especially if the table is shaken a lot.
The table is also minimalist, almost to the extreme. There are no extraneous elements and features, just a simple flat surface to eat on or put other decorative pieces on top. Aside from the edges where corners meet, there are no lines to be found here either. Besides its unique form, all other points of interest come from the play of light reflecting off the surfaces of the table.
Even those not familiar with Koon’s iconic masterpieces will surely find this dining table not only interesting but also frivolous. It’s almost as if it’s inviting not to be taken too seriously, even though its use is no laughing matter. By combining serious use with playful design, the D12 dining table tries to create an atmosphere conducive to interaction, bringing back what makes eating with family and friends important, other than nourishment, of course.