Aqua Table by Zaha Hadid for Established & Sons

Design as Art?

Max Fraser

The prospect of sinking several million into the purchase of a home may be beyond the reach of most but for those that can afford such a flourish, attention must also be focused on the trimmings - from your car, to your clothes, to your coffee table and chairs. Indeed, the notion of one’s status being communicated through one’s belongings isn’t new, making the importance of luxury lifestyle accessories a necessity, rather than an option. That said, even the Black Amex card brigade flinched at the hammer price of $296,000 for a table at auction back in December 2005.

In fairness, this wasn’t just any table. It was the ‘Aqua Table’ which was designed by legendary architect Zaha Hadid and produced by Established & Sons, the British design and manufacturing company. The prototype was included in a ‘20-21st Century Design Art’ auction held at New York’s Phillips de Pury & Company and caused amazement among the design community with its whopping sale price. It proved that the contemporary furniture, lighting, and tabletop items that attract collectors today are perhaps more akin with the art world than that of democratic design. While it is understandable that rare antique collectibles can command lofty auction prices, it was unusual for a contemporary design to attain such heights when it was barely a year old. New prototypes and limited editions from leading designers such as Marc Newson, Ron Arad, Tord Boontje, the Bouroullec Brothers, Amanda Levete, Yves Behar, Rolf Sachs, Pierre Charpin, Mattia Bonetti, Martin Szekely, and the Campana Brothers are creating a buzz amid collectors and shaping a new movement that has acquired the name ‘DesignArt.’

Read More

Drift Bench by Amanda Levete - Established & Sons
Drift Bench by Amanda Levete - Established & Sons
Chewing Gum Table by Mattia Bonetti - David Gill Gallery
Chewing Gum Table by Mattia Bonetti - David Gill Gallery



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