This Coffee Table is Made of the Same Material as Kitchen Countertops
Written by Christopher Penrose
Justin Bailey wants to know what the materials around us can do. He believes we can get more from them.
The Iso Table is a beautiful manifestation of this exploration. The bent black steel rods are meant to do two things: they bring the design process into the finished product by suggesting the ink lines on a drafting page and reproducing the gridded systems used in architectural plans.
“I thought it would be really interesting to think about how those lines might look in three dimensions”, says Bailey,
As an emerging designer, his work is being shown around the world, from the Interior Design Show in Toronto to Milan Design Week. The Iso table will soon be paired with matching side tables and stools of a similar inspiration.
Bailey's first steps into the world of design were centred around his fascination with the limits and definition of materials. “I started sculpting big nets, like giant dream catchers with wood and other materials – a lot of it was just testing materials, how I could make different bends and twists”, and he concedes, “it was more structural based than functional.”
He gives credit to his father being an architect with seeding, by osmosis, a fascination with the world of design. That seed came to fruition for him when he took a job in a mid-century modern furniture store. “That really opened my eyes to design”, he says of spending so much time observing the details in the furniture around him. It was that experience that launched him into pursuing his Masters in 3D design (which is the study of a mixture of furniture, objects and interior design) under his mentor Monica Correia from the University of Iowa.
The moveable tiles on the surfaces of the table are made of Corian, which – in homes – is almost exclusively used for kitchen countertops. These pieces function as coasters and interactive design elements, allowing you to continually reshape patterns for visual effect and function.
“The Corian pieces that move around are a translation of a floor plan where you move rooms around and reprogram space”, he explains, “you think about how they are used and where you can rearrange the function of the tabletop.”