|Wood and metal|
|Box with legs: Chinese table archetype|
Just around the corner from the Chen Yonggang Woodcraft Studio is a cafeteria that is frequented by me and my coworkers, which is where I discovered tables that imitate simianping. Understandably the joinery is greatly simplified, in part to keep construction costs down, but simply because HongMu joinery requires dense tropical hardwoods to succeed.
|Waisted, simplified, corner-leg construction|
|Faux panel and frame construction|
|A popular restaurant chain that happens to sell furniture|
|Magical trees go into its manufacture|
I struggled to get the proper raking light necessary to highlight the travesty of this design feature on the Industriell line of table, bench, and side chairs. Whereas, the Stockholm is described as 'ash veneer', the Industriell table is vaguely described as 'light grey' both as to material and color. Even though my VPN routed me to the UK Ikea website, I presume that 'light grey' is intentionally obtuse in all versions of English. And all because they don't want to state that the pieces are made from pine laminate. And to further mislead consumers, the surface is somehow treated to resemble a rough sawn surface as though it came directly from a sawmill as a slab! Is the greater sin miseducating the general consumer or exploiting his lack of consumer acumen? By the way, the underside of this tabletop is perfectly smooth, the kind of smoothness that one wants on a tabletop to help keep it clean. And yet this faux rough sawn surface is put proudly on top, the direct opposite that one would do in traditional construction. Are manufacturers really so exploitative of consumer ignorance or are designers so far removed from traditional woodcraft that they blithely turn a flaw that was once dutifully hidden in construction into an industrially fabricated feature to deceive consumers?
|Can a sawyer ever do this?|
|a tree, a common source of wood, as imagined by a designer|
|definitionally unsolid wood for the drawer bottom|
|Profiled beech glider component|
|Double milled in vain|
|Needlessly grooved, so ungroovy|
I don't know whether Ikea has had to answer any criticism about this, officially from its headquarters or from its own salespeople. A real designer would never deign to respond to such a query I suspect that a spokesperson will emphasize that it's made from solid wood (!) and that it can be more easily assembled by those who don't know their left from their right hands. Solid wood doesn't mean any more what I thought it did.
Duanwu jie kuaile!