My friend Aiha commissioned me to design and build a coffee table for her. Designing a coffee table is daunting; it is a furniture typology that’s been executed successfully thousands of times before. Luckily, Aiha helped me establish constraints early on. She saw a few 3D models and selected this one with a glass top floating above a hammock bed:

As usual, the driving force behind the design was economy and function. I wanted to use quality wood sparingly to keep costs low and also minimize intrusion into a small living room. I also thought extra storage beneath the table top surface was critical for holding everyday objects. I hoped to experiment with the massaging wood beads you find on car seats but got overwhelmed by escalating material costs; the glass alone was over $70! After settling on using cotton cord for the hammock, I spotted an image of a vintage wool loom from which I stole some details.







I took the completed coffee table for a spin around Koreatown yesterday. See below for the results. I realized only after the photo shoot that the model and table shared something in common – nice criss-crossed legs! We also shot some footage with a spycam in front of the County building at Vermont and 6th Street. Watch the video to discover what happens when a coffee table intrudes into the public realm.

Many thanks to Danny, Quynh and Jimin for helping out with the photo shoot, Knowhow Shop for guidance, Leilani for scheming, and Aiha for commissioning!

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