Q&A: Kristen White’s 2Tier Table

Kirsten White, Designer
2Tier Table, 2004
Pure Design

Where did you get the idea for the design?
The design was initially conceived for inhabitants of confined spaces—for the urban dweller. I developed several products at the time for the urban dweller.

What’s innovative about it?
The table and side table were designed to be knocked down flat to a thickness of about two-and-a-half inches. A lot of confined spaces need storage, which is why the coffee table has two levels.

What was the greatest challenge to realizing the table’s design?
The geometry is a bit difficult to calculate, as the parts and their angles must be accurate to ensure a tight fit. Originally the design was conceived to go together without screws, however it was simplified for the manufacturing process—fewer bends in the rod frame, resulting in just needing a few screws. The cross brace, which adds stability to the table, still fits without the use of additional screws. You might not realize all of this thinking was there when you look at the table or put it together.

Did anything interesting happen during the development of the table?
I participated in the constructive-criticism panel at Metropolis’s Next Generation conference [at ICFF 2003]. I felt quite fortunate. My review by the panel was very favorable. Right after I presented the table at the conference, I was approached by a couple of manufacturers. Unfortunately none of them panned out. But the panel’s interest—specifically Rob Forbes, from Design Within Reach—was very encouraging. And being able to say that I got this favorable review really helped me to sell the product to Pure.

What’s your favorite object?
My old-fashioned, rotary cheese mill or my incense coils from Hong Kong.

Is there anything you absolutely must do while you’re in New York for the ICFF?
I always love to visit the Earth Room by Walter De Maria on Wooster Street. It is a calm oasis amidst the chaos of the show.

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