Brussels designer Alain Gilles stacked different shapes to form these totem-like side tables, which are supported by a lightweight cork base. Gilles created the Assemblage tables for Italian brand Bonaldo. For his design, he chose to use cork as opposed to a standard solid base, and each of the side tables can be assembled in various ways.
The Assemblage tables are the result of further reflection on the concept of mass in furniture design. This reflection began with the MASS table designed in 2016 for Bonaldo, which sees an archetypal massive base replaced by a lightweight metal structure recalling the typical 3D wireframe structures, generating a strong design impact.
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Gilles compares the assembly to a “child’s game,” as each piece is placed on top of one another, and fastened together using a long bolt that runs through each piece.
“It is an assemblage of two materials that have been turned, the cork and the wood, but that has a very different finish – as if they were two entities not made to be matched together.”
With the Assemblage table, the mass that provides the stability to the base is constructed of cork, visually a very present material with its typical multicolored structure, but with its low-density aspect is usually associated with a lightweight material that floats, rather than a material which lends stability.
The designer has created several pieces for Bonaldo, including an extendable table that revealed its inner workings, and furniture design that sits on brightly colored sloping legs.