Another team of designers, Brooke Lichtenstein and Yiannos Vrousgos of Input Creative, took a totally different approach to creating their technology-infused table for the living room. Their expression, The Nest, reminds you of the Russian nesting dolls and Chinese puzzle boxes that efficiently use space in an elegant envelope. We’re fascinated by the three different interpretations on the assignment…create a table that showcases Horizon’s interpersonal features.
Q. How did you approach this assignment and decide upon this concept?
A. When we were first tasked with designing a table that would integrate the Horizon, we looked closely at both the computer’s features and Lenovo’s brand identity. We kept coming back to the idea that the Horizon is an all-in-one PC; meaning that it can be used for gaming, watching movies, Skype, as a tablet and can replace all other PCs in the household. With this is mind, we decided to design an all-in-one table that could stand on its own with integrated seating.
Since Lenovo is a Chinese company, our next step was to research the history of gaming in China. During our research, we came across Chinese wooden block puzzles which look like a solid wooden block, yet when deconstructed, are actually made up of a lot of smaller, lightweight pieces. We implemented this concept into our design and arrived at a compact all-in-one gaming table.
Q. Design is often about the little things that make a difference in terms of aesthetics and usability. Tell us about some of the features you built into the overall design that do this.
A. Yes, design is all in the details. We incorporated a number of features to increase the ease of usability and comfort including: casters on both the table and the seats, felt inserts on all of the stools and a power button that is flush with the tabletop, allowing the unit to be turned on or off without removing it from the table.
The Nest Horizon Table
Q. Where and how do you see this piece being used?
A. We see this piece being used in the home and in lobbies of both hotels and offices. When used in the home, it has the potential to reinvent family game night and bring everyone back together, literally and figuratively as they gather around the table. In our technology-driven generation, people tend to interact more with their “devices” (i.e. phones, tablets, etc.) than with each other and human interaction is becoming lost; the Horizon can bridge this gap.
In hotel and office lobbies, it can be used to make the time pass by quickly while one is waiting; ultimately making them stay in a space longer.
Q. What were some of the challenges in designing this piece and how did you overcome them?
A. When building a prototype, there is always a learning curve and problem solving to arrive at an ideal solution. With this project, we were able to come up with a design relatively quickly, yet until we had the actual PC we were unable to work out the details of how the table and the PC could operate as one.
Once we received the Horizon, we realized we needed to provide access to the USB ports, the power cord, the power button (which is on the opposite side of the USB ports and power cord) and lastly, allow for the Horizon’s vents to have breathing room. Our solution for the power cord and USB ports was the simplest; we created a trap door on the bottom of the table to provide access to this side of the PC. For the vents, we left the inside of the table hollow and drilled holes in the four corners, allowing the unit to ventilate properly. The power button was the trickiest, we ended up creating an extension of the button that lies flush with the perimeter of the table and uses a spring mechanism to turn on the power.
The Nest will be on display at ICFF in NYC May 18-21
Q. Tell us about the design process. How do you get ideas?
Design process is crucial in the development of a successful idea and our process is constantly evolving, however, there are some methods that we apply to each project. We begin by brainstorming and sketching, once we arrive at a concept and develop the idea, we press delete. Although this sounds odd, it helps us to arrive at a more successful final solution. By deleting our developed design, we are forced to rebuild it; in this step we can gauge how successful our initial idea was. We are able to see what elements of the design we replicate and what we might do differently, ultimately arriving at an ideal solution.
Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere and anything; we are very lucky to live in New York, a design mecca in its own right. The immense talent and diversity that this city offers inspires us; you have the old intersecting with the new and countless points of view on display. The city is ever-changing, as is the design industry, and this inspires us to stay current and constantly push ourselves and question our ideas.
Q. What do you like best about this design?
A. We like the complex simplicity of this design. Meaning that, upon first glance the table looks like a solid block, yet further exploration reveals its many functions. The side of the table rolls out and suddenly there is seating for two, also the drawers of each of the seats pull out and when turned on their sides provide seating for four. The table is very compact and makes a statement of its own, while highlighting the Horizon.