November 12, 2020
9 Products That Show Simplicity is a Virtue
Technological advances and calls for sustainability have manufacturers embracing design with fewer ingredients and slower production.
A dramatically pared-down coffee table illustrates a trend toward furnishings with few parts and natural materials. Called Plint, it takes its frugal form from a collaboration between award-winning designer Cecilie Manz and TAKT, a one-year-old Danish manufacturer that makes quality flat-pack furnishings in sustainable and transparent ways.
Three of Plint’s four parts (a wood surface and two side planks) are preassembled with leather hinges, which enables inexpensive shipping and no-tools-required assembly. The ingredients, wood and leather, are as green as they are restrained; planks are Forest Stewardship Council–certified (FSC) oak or pine, EU Ecolabel–certified, and intentionally machined as a kit of replaceable parts to extend the product’s life. Even the hinged seams are carefully considered: They’re supplied by a Swedish tannery called Tärnsjö Garveri, which distinguishes itself by using a chrome-free, vegetable-based tanning process.
But simplicity is the table’s chief virtue. “A small plinth is a type of furniture I often return to,” Manz says, “as it’s highly functional and self-explanatory to use.” It’s a model of basic versatility and craftsmanship, which a growing number of product designers seem to be following.
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