Object of desire It ticks all the "modern" boxes: simple, functional, economy of both form and material ? Yet there's none of the coldness that such rational design often conveys.
It was a coup de foudre the first time I ever saw this table. That was in 2006, the year it was launched by Zanotta. Quite recently, I discovered that Boutique 1 in Dubai had an example in its Living department. I knew that one day someone would buy it but, until then, every time I was at The Walk I made a detour to admire it all over again. Quite why I love Alexander Taylor's design so much, I don't know. Maybe that's the essence of love: it's almost impossible to analyse - and just as hard to put into words.
It ticks all the "modern" boxes: simple, graphic, functional, made with an economy of both form and material ? Yet there's none of the coldness that such rational design often conveys. It has a lovely warmth and an almost ethereal lightness - a prettiness, even - that makes it both approachable and decorative. (Decorative? Now there's a word that doesn't often get attached to modern design.) To my eye, Taylor's design is utterly fresh and original - yet its genealogy may be traceable to such mid-century masters as Eames and Noguchi at Herman Miller: the former's pioneering work with bent plywood and the latter's sculptural, organic forms. With his Butterfly, what Taylor has done with that genealogy is the equivalent of 1+1=3. The Chicago Athenaeum Museum would seem to agree; the Butterfly is a recipient of its prestigious Good Design Award.
But great design doesn't exist in a vacuum; it needs to be manufactured and marketed - and done so at an appropriate level of quality. For that, the kudos goes to Zanotta and E&Y, its Japanese co-editor. Zanotta Butterfly table from Dh9,680, available to order at Boutique 1, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 04 448 3400; www.boutique1.com