Hybrid Furniture: Wrapt
Presented by: Deborah Scott
Utter the word furniture and connotations for function arise. Furniture labels such as “end table” or “coffee table” add specificity that infers context, relationships to space, additional objects within the space and connections to the body. These classifications enable us to communicate about design intention and applicable meaning and roles, but they are limiting. Standards surrounding furniture design may be challenged by today’s spatial needs and current social conventions that call for the creative re-thinking of form.
This re-conception of furniture and its relationship to space and human activities requires us to set aside some notion of what is known. As Arthur Koestler (1964) notes, “the creative act does not create something out of nothing. It uncovers, selects, reshuffles, combines, and synthesizes already existing facts, ideas, faculties, skills. Typically, the more familiar the parts, the more striking the new whole” (p. 121). In other words, a creative re-consideration of furniture invites discovery through renewal.
Wrapt renews the notion that furniture pieces are interdependent. It advocates for vacillating functionality, hybridization and visual and physical movement in a table form. It is a retort to reliance on pre-packaged design for the interior. This table adapts, bends and blends end-table and sofa table dimensions and functions and by extending around a seating unit, offers additional opportunities for display. Its form is a response to the proliferation of the open floor plan, the lack of differentiation between entrance and living space, as well as the lack of definition of circulation paths in the contemporary interior space. Challenging conventional expectations of what is front and what is back, this table addresses the nondescript sofa back-side and breathes life into it. Upon entering this home, visitors are met with a dynamic linear cherry plane that wraps around a plain Gus Modern sofa. Designed transitions in the plane enhance its dynamic movement and they are accentuated by shifts in grain direction and in horizontal and vertical angular movements. Details in the mitered joinery highlight the points of turning. The legs are designed to emphasize a lift and push as they encourage the perception that the table leans into the sofa to accentuate its literal and non-literal dependence on the sofa. The side extensions support functional needs (as a place to set thing) while adding a sense of mass to the sofa. Dimensioned to fit precisely around the sofa, the two pieces combine to create a complete new unit.
- Koestler, Arthur. 1964. The Act of Creation, p121. Penguin Books, New York.