Tiny cities seem to be much on the mind lately with the nearly concurrent announcement by Ittyblox of their Kickstarter campaign to create a palm-sized version of a section of Paris. For the piece that has caught our eye today, a 3D printed cityscape was created and then folded back over itself in a manner reminiscent of Nolan’s beautiful take on the creation of landscape in Inception.
The coffee table, titled Wave City by designer Stelios Mousarris, is a beautiful example of the elegant and complex pieces that can be created by 3D printing and in more than ‘just’ plastics. This particular piece is created from wood and steel and builds on Mousarris’ history of creating pieces that defy the forms expected of the materials with which they are produced, for example a chair that is entirely made of a Persian carpet that has been hardened into seating.
For this table, a sheet good was used as the base upon which a series of buildings, each sufficiently detailed to move beyond anonymity and to draw your eye to look inside of the cityscape as unit. That base is then disturbed by bending up and over itself so that part of the city hangs down as if the urban landscape is a subterranean wonderland filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The balance of the wave of the table is held in place by the engineering of a perfect cantilever that leaves the viewer feeling the dynamism of potential movement, capturing the wave but without freezing it.
Despite Mousarris’ exquisitely crafted originality, this isn’t the first time that a city has been captured in a table. In 2000, Po Shun Leong created his City table which contains an entire city under a glass atmosphere more like a futuristic, exposed middle-earth. James McNabb has a series of city based pieces as well including a table that turns the city over and uses its higher structures as legs.
As someone who is obsessed with tiny architecture and furniture, I can’t help but be filled with excitement every time I see a piece that combines the two. These are pieces of fine art that is in a category of furnishing, so don’t expect its price tag to be competitive with IKEA. The Wave City coffee table sells for about $4,500, something that Gizmodo classed as ‘ruinously expensive’ but given the price of this type of high end design, this is actually quite a reasonable price. You aren’t just buying something to keep you from having to put your cups on the ground, but something that will enrich your environmental experience.
And that’s a tall order for a coffee table, but one that I think Wave City fills the bill nicely. Discuss this story in the 3D Printed Inception Coffee Table forum on 3DPB.com.