Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum launches marble furniture

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Joe Doucet designs flat-pack marble furniture for New York's Cooper-Hewitt museum

New York 2014: to celebrate New York design week, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum commissioned designer Joe Doucet to create a limited edition collection of "snap fit" marble tables.

Snap Fit Marble Tables by Joe Doucet

The Annex flat-pack coffee and side tables were designed by Joe Doucet for the shop at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Made entirely of white marble, the tables rely on gravity to securely join them together.

Snap Fit Marble Tables by Joe Doucet

"There is a beauty in economy," said Doucet. "I wanted something fresh for the museum without trying to be just a showpiece. It is the National Design Museum and not an art museum. I wanted to create something liveable yet something that made very apparent the thought that a designer puts into project."

Snap Fit Marble Tables by Joe Doucet

"The contradiction between the notion of self-assembly and such a luxury material was the point of the pieces – a high-value piece of furniture, with almost no waste and delivered in the most efficient form possible," he added.

Snap Fit Marble Tables by Joe Doucet

Each Annex table is made from three pieces of flat marble. The two pieces that form the base each have a slit cut into them that enables them to be fitted together forming an X shape. The tabletop has a corresponding hole cut into it, so that it will fit on top, holding the table together.

"They are delivered flat packed and are user-assembled," Doucet explained. "It takes two people and about thirty seconds to put them together. Once assembled, they are quite robust and very structurally stable."

Snap Fit Marble Tables by Joe Doucet

"I chose an Arabesque white marble, as the subtle change in grain direction accentuates the support tabs which form the X shape on top of the tables," he continued. "The sheets are milled to a precise thickness, then water-jet cut, and then hand-honed. I wanted each piece to have a specific texture that I likened to touching the leg of Michelangelo's David."

The tables were unveiled during New York design week, which took place earlier this month. They follow a revival of marble in contemporary furniture design that we noticed during Milan design week in April.

Photos are by Kendall Mills.