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Playing With Parsons

In the furniture world, the combination of steel and glass always seems to call to mind Parsons-style tables…

In the furniture world, the combination of steel and glass always seems to call to mind Parsons-style tables. You know the ones—boxy steel base, glass on top. Kind of predictable at this point. Recently I decided to look into what exactly Parsons refers to. Wikipedia references a New York Times article explaining how the Paris outpost of New York’s famous Parsons art and design school offered a class taught by Jean-Michel Frank in the 1930s in which the designer asked students to create a table “so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished.” Good to know. Doesn’t quite explain why there are so many steel and glass variations, but it does shed light on the topic.
Having this context makes me appreciate Evan Lewis’s take on this basic silhouette even more. With his new Tetra collection, the sculptor gives us a fresh interpretation of the Parsons look—at least that’s how it feels to me. He describes it as a “study of intersecting planes.” I like how he plays with the base in this architectural coffee table ($6,634). It’s sturdy and strong, yet seems to float in space. It, along with a whole line of other Tetra tables, is available at the Evan Lewis showroom.

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