x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Butterfly table

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.

Zanotta Butterfly table from Dh9,680, available to order at Boutique 1, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 04 448 3400.
Zanotta Butterfly table from Dh9,680, available to order at Boutique 1, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 04 448 3400.

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