Furniture: Studio 2 4 8 (and acrylic)

Studio Two Four Eight’s designs look almost Scandinavian in their straight-forwardness, but they come from out of Thailand. They play up the structure of the design through natural coated wood, sometimes in combination with white or black metal components. A look through their gallery shows the sleek simplicity of their catalogue alongside some shots from factory production.  These in-the-process insights reveal the craftsman details and basis of Two Four Eight’s design.

On top of that, they have a coffee table that makes good use of acrylic. Acrylic plastic has been on the market, and hence a medium for designers to use any way they could, since the 30’s. It is still an innovation and has a modern aura to it.  But what does making furniture out of acrylic usually do?  It makes it see-through.  What does making it see-through achieve? Typically, nothing. It is a novelty. I picture acrylic furniture littering Liberace’s mansion.

This piece sits well with me because it uses transparency for a purpose, and its selection acknowledges acrylic’s material properties. It isn’t showing pointlessly what you’re not going to sit on, using an acrylic chair for example. It is exposing a well-designed and implemented structure.  The acrylic highlights the materiality, language, and engineering of the wood support, instead of being the focus itself. Acrylic also fits in with the slightly raw or industrial aesthetic and construction.  It is worked like the wood making up the rest of the piece, with drill holes and dowels attaching it; glass wouldn’t work so well for this.  Likewise, it’s synthetic makeup pairs well with the unfinished wood.  The use of acrylic is coherent and functional in the INF Coffee Table.

I also really like the stools in the same INF collection and similarly designed by Purim K. They have nicely faceted, metal seat pans and well-crafted wooden joints. No digression involving material or construction here.

http://www.studio248.com/

A good overview of acrylic:
http://www.eplastics.com/Plastic/Plastics_Library/Plexiglass-Primer-and-History-of-Plexiglas-Acrylic

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