Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Round Table

Arthur, round table. Designed by Dirk Wynants. Manufactured by Extremis.

As explained by its creator, “The mystical Arthur round table is symbol for justice, equality and joy in life. The round shape stimulates conversation, being one of the most important things in life.”

The Arthur round table with central rotating lazy susan is retro on the one hand, contemporary on the other. If viewed from the side (base and all) it resembles a sort of space-age, geometricized peony in bloom; while from above it might remind you of the dining set in Woody Allen’s Sleeper, or of some rogue component of the docking station in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001.
The table top is segmented (like a pie chart) in a way that neatly demarcates its capacity—8 segments for the eight-seater, 10 for the ten-seater, and so on. This feature fits neatly within manufacturer Extremis’ vision, which is to cultivate equality, togetherness, and productive exchange: “this member of the Extremis family, appropriately named ‘Arthur’, is a synonym for encounter, communication, gathering, hospitality, togetherness.” The name refers to Camelot and the legendary Knights of the Round Table—one of the Western world’s enduring emblems of shared responsibility, justice, and familial/fraternal contentment. Though dining at the Arthur table probably won’t stimulate you to seek the holy grail or defend the kingdom from marauding Saxon hordes, it will eliminate being stuck in that dreaded middle spot of traditional rectangular tables, where good conversation goes to die, where you find yourself with the dubious alternative of a senile uncle on one side and a morose, pubescent cousin on the other.-via

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