cappucino table

2016

Designed by Sophia, Mia, Andy, and Nyk (SuperVaekke)

Designed for BoConcept Design

Objective

To be a team that creates high quality, highly attractive, highly functional, small furniture that can keep up with the dynamic city lifestyle of the BoConcept client. 

Brief given from the client

  • Living and dining is out must win categories
  • Small table/end tables which also can be used as nightstands
  • Functionality: storage, used as a set of 2 or 3, features like charger/light
  • Price within existing level
  • Flat pack is appreciated

OverView

Cappuccino table is meant to be used anywhere at home: living room, dining room or bedroom. Furniture should play an active role in daily life, performing to varying needs without compromise. 

Features

  • Raising the surface
  • Storage
  • Charger or Light
  • MDF table tops
  • Aluminum legs

Design brief

Material Research

MDF has been given a bad wrap, but it is better than most people think. It is evolving in the right direction and has the potential to become a great product. MDF is made from sawdust (a byproduct from sawmills) or from whole trees that are chipped up in the process of forest thinning. These trees, that are not suitable for sawlogs and would otherwise be a burden to depose of, are removed to maximize the potential of the remaining forest. The downside is the glue which is 10 to 15% of the product and usually contains formaldehyde. The amount of formaldehyde (a petroleum product) is decreasing. Before 2008 MDF was approximately 8% formaldehyde by weight and now must be less than 6%. Alternatives are available and will prevail with industry pressure and improved technology. 

MDF can also be certified by the Forest Stewards Council (FSC). FSC certification means that it meets and maintains certain standards that ensure; Natural forests are conserved. That endangered species and their habitats are protected. That forest workers and their communities are respected. 

The FSC seeks a balance between economic, social and environmental issues. MDF has the potential to become a great product in the near future. Soon it will be easily composted, safely burned or completely recycled.

Aluminum is our choice of material to be used for the legs. Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy to make new aluminum and produces only 5% of the CO2 emissions. Over 30 billion aluminum cans ended up in American landfills every year.  The resourceful will soon mine our landfills to reclaim this. Strong, lightweight and infinitely recyclable, aluminum has a bright, sustainable future in design and manufacturing. 

initial ideation

We each came up with 20-30 2D sketches that gave us a broad path to take on with our project.

concept 3d sketches

First iteration

This process started from 2D drawings into 3D sketches. The group was researching a motivating way to show the ideations. This process helped us to define the construction possibility as well as the build strength. Through the 3D sketches, we can easily define the construction requirements. We received invaluable advice and suggestions from BoConcept at the first critique. Our aim is to focus on simplicity as well as maintaining the universal style from BoConcept. 

1:1 scale prototype

We started to mock up 1:1 scale 3D models to explore the table tops and legs. As our design evolved, we explored MDF's potential. MDF has traditionally been disguised by soaring or veneers. Through our explorations we discovered that we could get an attractive finish that enhances that delicate, warm texture and the intricate randomness of the MDF fibers. We had good results using a gel stain covered with Varathane Professional Clear Finish. With a little more exploring MDF, may be able to slide into the high end furniture market celebrating its qualities.

Full Scale Prototype

Leg exploration

Second iteration

After exploring with various shapes of legs, we decided to choose this design to show on our second critique with BoConcept clients. 

final 1:1 scale prototype

leg exploration

Third iteration

The feedback from the second critique showed us that the legs were too dominant. We explored more variations of leg designs to achieve a balanced and cohesive form. Once we realized that these tables invite being moved around, our best choice became clear: two legs move better than four. Stick on slides worked well on hard surfaces. The use of castors might be worth exploring for use on carpet. 

production