in traditional chinese culture, the circle represents happiness, and based on this fact designer tian li created this ‘formless round table’ for the chinese furniture brand ziihome. the circle also represents ‘fulfillment’, ‘oneness’, ‘perfection’, and ‘unity’. in furniture design, a round table allows for sharing and socializing as each person is seated equidistant from the center. the design was also inspired by a sentence in lao tzu’s ‘tao de jing’: ‘the greatest virtue is like water, and water nourishes everything but contends for nothing.’ water has a lofty character, but it is also invisible. the designer aimed to use simple three-dimensional geometry and gentle texture to embody the invisible, giving the round table a profound meaning.
‘formless round table’ made with black walnut
images courtesy of tian li
the ‘formless round table’ has a diameter of 1.5 meters which is ideal to seat 6 people comfortably. its leg shape is in the form of a ‘t’ that is quite different from traditional four-legged tables. this shape is beneficial because it allows enough leg room and provides sufficient space for the chairs to be pushed inside and easily stored. the surface of the central table leg is embossed with textured PVC and a timber frame, adding vitality to the whole table.
‘formless round table’ made with cherry wood
tian li chose diagonal wood veneer as a finish that creates an elegant two-tone effect when seen from a distance. a slate turntable is placed in its center and it comes in two colors; cherry wood and black walnut.
in traditional chinese culture, a circle represents happiness
its diameter of 1.5 meters is ideal to seat 6 people comfortably
the slate turntable in the center makes it easier for everyone to participate and share
the ‘t’-shaped structure allows more movement space for the legs
black walnut veneer with gray slate turntable
cherry wood veneer with white slate turntable
square legs with rounded corners
PVC embossed leather
name: formless round table
design: tian li
edited by: yasmina karam | designboom