Defying Gravity Coffee Table by Livia Shi

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“The primary objectives for me, in designing this high end coffee table, were to create a piece that would be visually interesting, functional, and harmonious with the client’s home settings. Most readily, I wanted to create a design that was classic & elegant, but also definitively modern & cutting edge.

Foremost, I came up with a theme which I wanted to resonate throughout the table design. I currently have a line called ‘Defying Gravity’ and I decided to include this coffee table as part of that collection. I perceive designing furniture as creating architecture on a small scale, so I was really excited to realize a product that would have architectural dynamic qualities.

In reference to the design theme, I wanted to create a product that appeared to be structurally unfeasible at first glance. The client requested that the table be made of wood & long enough, so that most of the people sitting on her full length couch would be able to utilize the table. The design that I eventually came up with, consisted of layers of cantilevered surfaces that were connected by bold curve faces.

The table’s main feature is a cantilevered table top that extends one foot from the table’s edge. The table spans about 4’-6” in length and has three 2” high shelves that are predominantly designed to house magazines & medium sized books. Each shelf cantilevers over the previous shelf. In between the 2-1/2” shelves is a larger cantilevered shelf that has two sliding, translucent gray colored glass doors. In addition, there are 2-1/2” thick strips of translucent gray glass on the cantilevered table top & the shelving directly below. Both strips of glass span about three quarters of the width of the table top or respective shelf. The built in table lighting illuminates these glass strips and gives the curious spectator a special glimpse of the cantilevered design & any display items located on the viewable shelf below.

In essence, I wanted the lines of the table design to be seamless, even though, the predominant theme was “defying gravity.” I believe I was able to achieve this with the cantilevered concept and the fluid curved connecting faces. Most importantly, I was able to make a structurally feasible design with the support of clear acrylic rods for all cantilevered members.” liviashi.com

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1 Comment

  • Reply June 25, 2013

    Jim Hsu

    Very creative.

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