In the design world there are designs that are regarded as ‘classics’. What makes it a classic? According to Wikipedia: ‘A design classic is an industrially manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and remains up to date regardless of the year of its design.’ Of course it’s debatable if a design is a real classic. First of all it takes time to tell if a design is a classic. Things like influence on later designs, impact on society, play an important role in determining if a design becomes a classic. So I wondered, are there any upcycle design classics?
Inspiring upcycle design table classic
Upcycle design has been around for a long time. Just look at art made by Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and many other artists. Around the ’90s a few incredible designers started showing design made out of every day products. They didn’t always use discarded materials and objects, but they showed what could be done. They pointed out to look at objects in a different way. In a way that a certain object could get a new life, different function. And by doing so ideas got triggered to use waste and old stuff, transforming them into new design pieces.
Well one of those designers is the admired Gae Aulenti. She lived form 1927 till 2012 and was an Italian architect, lighting and interior designer, and industrial designer. Gae Aulenti was one of the few notable women architects and designers in mid-twentieth century Europe. One of her designs as an industrial designer, and one of her later works, was an amazing table called ‘TOUR‘, designed in 1993. She conceived it for FontanaArte. Fontana was originally founded in 1881 by Luigi Fontana who started his business in Milan, manufacturing float glass for the construction industry and later started producing refined bespoke and one-off glass furnishing accessories. In 1932 the design firm was founded with Art direction by famous Gio Ponti, former founding editor of Domus magazine.
The photo above also shows another iconic design, the Uovo lamp .
TOUR is an evolution to the ‘Table on Wheels’ – Tavolo Con Ruote. “Again with wheels, but in this case taken from bicycles, it was a surprising piece. The beveled float glass top, 15 mm thick, rests on 4 pivoting bicycle wheels attached to four stainless steel plates. The forks are chromed and the wheels are covered in rubber.”
Photos © FontanaArte
When I look at TOUR I see an incredible piece of art, a useful home object and best of all, a very inspiring upcycle design classic. And diving into several design classics I noticed that they are often strikingly simple. And so is TOUR.
Maybe next week I’ll show you another iconic upcycle design piece.
Design by Gae Aulenti | FontanaArte