Squaring the table

Squaring the table

Product design

For the architect, designer, and artist Stefan Sieboth, drawing by hand, but following strict geometric rules is no contradiction. He designed a table based on a concept for the form, and selected fiber cement for the legs to produce the wave shape he had in mind. The result is a structural art work.

Michael Hanak The table is meant to appear charged and visually light, says Stefan Sieboth. At the start was an idea for a form: a square that moves, turning, through the room. Sieboth created various sculptures related to this idea, among others, a seven-meter- high, chrome-steel column that he erected in his garden.

Sketch and draw

©Stefan Sieboth, Derendingen

 

He later combined the form idea with a table design and developed it further: starting from a table with four oblique legs, Sieboth conceived a sculptural table frame. He furnished the square base area with four round protrusions on the corners, like a windmill, allowing the surface to complete a 45- degree turn from the floor to the height of the table top. To realize the table design, the designer first thought of chrome, which he sliced a number of times for better formability. However, the effort was too great and costs too high. He then remembered Willy Guhl’s legendary garden furniture of fiber cement. Sieboth had two old Loop chairs in his garden. Like Guhl, Sieboth utilized fiber cement’s formability, thereby arriving at a final solution for the silver wave table. The material takes on the desired form in a negative mold. In the end, a round or oval glass top is placed on the sculpturally waved base.

Square base

©Stefan Sieboth, Derendingen

 

Due to its folding and turning, the table base is stable yet nonetheless appears light. Through its design, the table attains an object-like quality. It can easily be assembled outdoors—and goes well with Willy Guhl’s early designs.

 

45-degree turn

©Stefan Sieboth, Derendingen

 

The architect, product designer, and artist Stefan Sieboth will turn eighty this year. His oeuvre includes clearly structured buildings, unique furniture pieces, and artworks based on geometric regularity. Since the founding of his office for architecture and industrial design in 1959, he has aspired to realizations of functional requirements in an architecture that has great utility and experiential value. Parallel to his architectural work, he has consistently created furniture and explored the further development of concrete art in its three dimensionality.

 

Garden sculpture: elegant twists for a table.

©Stefan Sieboth, Derendingen

 

Towards the end of his training as an architect, Sieboth found influential role models. At the International Building Exhibition 1957 in Berlin he was impressed by Alvar Aalto and his casual treatment of dissolved geometries. Later on he was fascinated by Oscar Niemeyer who designed his studio over the Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro as a fantastical wave-shaped form. Asked about the difference between architecture, sculpture, and object design, Sieboth points out that scale is decisive: the form of the table in his garden cannot be transferred to a high rise in a city.

 
 

Key Facts

Product
Silver wave table

 

Designer
Stefan Sieboth

 

Year of design
2013

 

Dimensions
ca. 70 × 70 × 71 cm

 

Material table top
float glass, 12 mm, round 140 cm
diameter; or oval 100 × 160 cm

 

Material table frame
fiber cement, 8 mm

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