Inspiration for an award-winning design comes in all form and fashion. Matteo Foggale’s Cruz del Sur table is testament to this. Little did Matteo know when his friend asked him for a functional table for his apartment, that the design would get spotted by a design journal, reimagined in cork and then receive an award for its design ingenuity.
We caught up with Matteo to ask him some questions about the table, which was awarded a Design Guild Mark in the 2021 Furniture category.
What initially inspired you to make this product?
It all started with a friend of mine asking me for a good side table for his apartment. He wanted something with added functionality like cable management, shelves etc. I also wanted to create something simple yet functional.
Initially I made it out of wood, but later Disegno magazine approached me asking if I could donate a piece for a competition and they really liked the table. I started thinking of ways to make the product more practical for this purpose – easy to manufacture and ship to the lucky winner.
I thought of a way to make the table flat-packed without compromising the look of the original design. Then I wanted to produce it in a more sustainable way and wood required quite a lot of manual labour. That’s when I thought of using cork – it was lightweight, it could be CNC machined out of one sheet and it is a very sustainable material. It was the perfect combination. I contacted Amorim cork who kindly supplied the sheets from Portugal.
Can you explain the concept for the design?
The design came from the need for functionality, I wanted it to be a side table but also a nightstand or reading companion. I added a small shelf for reading books, glasses, or all the clutter usually ended on top of the side table.
The rest came from wanting to make it flat-pack and I didn’t want to have any visible screws. It needed to be quick and straight forward to assemble, so I found these very fun click-on fixtures and they were just perfect.
It allows the table to be assembled in seconds and to knock-down and assemble again infinite times without compromising the fixings.
How have you struck the balance between function and design with this product?
I wanted it to look very simple but offer something more than just a top surface. Every piece of the table is carefully considered to be an essential structural part, nothing is superfluous. The size of every component is designed so that the entire table fits in a standard sheet of cork and the small leftovers from the CNC are used as packaging material so that there is no waste in production and by packing the piece in a pizza style cardboard box all the packaging is organic and can be recycled.
The fixings are screwed, not glued, into the cork so that they can also be easily removed and recycled separately to the cork.
What modifications did you make along the way?
One of the most significant changes was to find the right dimensions of every piece so that they would fit in a standard sheet of cork. This directly informed the proportions of the final table.
In what way do you think this design is different from anything else available on the market?
I think it is a very simple and honest piece, with sustainable materials and manufacturing process, a low impact on the environment and a very straight forward functionality.
What was the most challenging aspect of the design?
Finding the right material, that’s why I trusted Amorim with their high-quality cork. Second came the right fixings, I’m so glad I found this system making the assembly of the piece very straight forward but also durable enough to allow the piece to be assembled several times without compromising its integrity.
For more information, go to matteofogale.com