When looking at the Halves Side Table by Canadian design duo MSDS for Muuto, the first thing you notice is the vibrant character of the design with its overlapping planes and geometric form, making for a side table that is at once functional and sculptural.
We visited founders of MSDS, Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine, in their Toronto studio to learn more about the design.
How did the idea for Halves come about?
We wanted to explore tables of identical volumes and proportions in different materials: metal, wood and stone composite. The idea was for each design to have an authentic expression, echoing the material of which it was made. We communicated this through the characteristics of materials, such as strength and assembly conventions, as well as the underlying elements of aesthetics and relations within each material.
What inspired you for the expression of the design?
We wanted to show a new material within the proportions of a side table, combined with our interest in transformational elements in design—something that changes its character, depending on the perception of its user. By adding the asymmetrical elements to Halves, the design became even more functional while also being tied to the geometric forms of the design and adding an element of playfulness with light and shadows in the design.
Can you describe the design process for Halves and what considerations and choices you made underway?
We wanted to explore the possibilities of a solid composite material as it allowed us to give the design a slender expression with strong, seamless joints. This motivated us to explore the form for Halves through planes and intersections, giving the design a uniquely visual expression.
What do you think makes the Halves Side Table unique?
Halves celebrates expression through materials and form, made from a unique material that gives the design a characteristic touch and modern aesthetic alongside its form, making it a design that is both functionally and visually inviting.
In what way(s) is the Halves Side Table tied to your own design philosophy?
As designers, we’re in this strange post-post modern space, somewhat caught in the middle between traditional conventions and forward-thinking ways of thought. The Halves Side Table reflects that: It is true to its material and form with a high degree of functionality and durability. At the same time, there’s something characteristically unique about it, questioning the norm and taking a new approach to new perspectives on Scandinavian design.
Photography by Lauren Kolyn.