The new PONTO table by Troels Grum-Schwensen – GRUMDESIGN – is being presented at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Its pyramid-shaped legs support not only the tabletop, but also give the appearance of a bridge – hence the name. A talk with designer Troels Grum-Schwensen reveals the inspiration – and his fascination with the nature of flying.
Following with great interest designer Troels Grum-Schwensen, even if only for a short time, as well as reviewing his portfolio of designs, illuminates his continuing eagerness and desire to work with, as well as defy, gravity. The new PONTO table, unveiled at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2019, is no exception:
Even in versions with only four legs, two very strong aluminium beams allows the table´s length to be as much as 560 cm in length, which on many levels is satisfying for its creator:
“PONTO has a lot of character in its appearance and the expression given by the overhang that can be a quarter of the entire length is intended to state something almost majestic”, Troels Grum-Schwensen explained after his first presentation of the table.
PONTO´s legs can be slided along the longitudinal beams and, to some extent, left wherever they are wanted. Gravity will take care of locking and stabilizing:
“I´ve always had the dream of being able to fly. As a kid, I believe, this resulted in a natural fascination with birds – their names and capabilities, how they are constructed in order to play with gravity”, Troels Grum-Schwensen says. He continues:
“At some point during my adult life I´ve come to peace with the flying part – but playing with gravity, working with it, in order to dissolve it, has stuck!”
Apparently, so has the fascination with birds and their functional physicality, because diving in to the creation of the PONTO table as well as the design of the ATTACH table, both manufactured by Lammhults, showcases an almost never-ending search for optimisation:
“I´m very focused on simplicity. My focal point is equally on the aesthetic element as well as the object being functional – always questioning how I can add more functionality and proportionally reduce the number of parts in order eventually to obtain the highest level of flexibility.”
While talking, his mind wanders to favourite birds – such as condors, eagles, terns and albatrosses – as he explains the refinement of their wings – from the body all the way to the tip of the wing. He describes how words such as simplicity, dominance, grace and majestically come up:
“I really appreciate the elegance by which their wings sublimely fulfil a purpose. This is some of what I strive for in my design process: to utilise as little material as possible and still create simple, graceful and flexible pieces of furniture that are fully functional and easy to comprehend”, Troels Grum-Schwensen says.
PONTO is the result of an early drawing from several design processes initiated in 2005, creating a series of tables with gravity-locked legs. This process resulted, among other products, in the ATTACH table system launched in February 2016. In summer 2016 Troels Grum-Schwensen saw again his old 2005 drawing of a long table with gravity-locked wooden legs and, in a flash, he got the idea to refine that early design.
The simplicity and character of the wooden legs gives a very distinct, warm and poetic expression and the table can be seen as a truly innovative, flexible and renewing interpretation of the original Scandinavian functionalism:
“Besides refined functionality and aesthetic designs that are easy to comprehend, flexibility is an important focal point of mine”, Troels Grum-Schwensen states, before continuing:
“It might be due to my architectural training and heritage, but it is a great concern of mine that, when adding pieces of furniture to a room, this should always involve creating or adjusting balance. This can be supported a lot by the objects or furniture being flexible. PONTO is yet another small contribution of mine at making this creation of balance possible in whichever meeting room, library, home, office or restaurant it will end up.”