Coffee Table. 2010, 24" x 30" x 18" 

Plywood with Maple Veneer. Prototype.



Premise: To design multiple furniture pieces from a singular, dimensional framework. Shown: one design solution of a coffee table constructed from a single sheet of plywood.

As a starting point I have decided to base the design of the coffee table around my interpretation of C.G. Jung’s teachings of the ego and the unconscious. The template that illustrates the cuts in the material and the arrangement of parts is the unconscious. The built coffee table and its form is the ego. The dual characteristics of the table give the user two potential interpretations of the object. The first is the direct, literal observation of form and the second is a subtle but provocative understanding of how it was generated.

In C.G. Jung’s writings he speaks of two parts of the human psyche: the ego and the unconscious. “We understand the ego as the complex factor to which all conscious contents are related. It forms, as it were, the center of the field of consciousness; and, in so far as this comprises the empirical personality, the ego is the subject of all personal acts of consciousness”. He then goes on to define the collective unconscious as “a part of the psyche which can be negatively distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that it does not, like the latter, own its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition”.

The table exhibits playfulness in the details countered with simplicity of form. The legs of the coffee table are designed to fold and meander towards their natural destiny with the ground. They have been articulated with sensible joinery that provides needed stability and another level of textural tectonics. The top is cut by the leg at the moments where they intersect. The template has been graphed onto the table top as a repetitive pattern. To help remove the planer qualities of the base material of plywood the side has been canted and articulated with a red pin stripe.