I like it when I see something that has humor without being too obvious. London based industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson's Hoof Tables do this for me.
Currently showing at the Stockholm Design Week, the Hoof Tables have a clean modern feel but with a little bit of whimsey. Despite the animal reference with the name - they look like pencils to me. In my mind, they are the furniture equivalent of a Magritte image. I can just imagine a Hoof Table in the background of one of his paintings, maybe with a pair of his feet-boots discarded underneath.
One thing that I always admire about industrial designers is the intensity and focus they put on process. It makes sense that this is so integral as their work needs to be produced for sale, but this focus can sometimes enable new ways of creating, or can sometimes create completely new forms. For instance, the process that is used on the legs to create the hoof is the direct opposite to the technique usually employed when producing furniture. Sounds like a simple reverse, but look what that reversed procedure has created. While I am writing this I am thinking about the focus on process in industrial design compared to that in fine art. Concept definitely outweighs process in the contemporary art scene, and usually I'd say that I like that, but looking at Sam's tables, it makes me wonder if it has gone too far in that direction? Maybe if process was still valued in the art world we might be discovering new things with it? Or maybe the removal of process is what has given art it's freedom? I'm not sure I can't decide, but it's made me think about that again which is good.
(Also... if you want to check out a pretty cool site for Magritte - go here. A really good virtual gallery)
Images courtesy of samuelwilkinson.com