Joe Magliaro is a designer living in Portland, Oregon. He opened the shop, Table of Contents, with his wife, Shu Hung, in 2012 and has been designing a collection of objects for their in-house TOC Studio ever since. Manufactured locally, the collection reflects Magliaro's interest in materials and processes of transformation. "I'm a fan of the way Achille Castiglioni approached the design process. He would begin with a 'principal design component,' usually a found object, and transform it into the foundation for something new. I tend to keep a lot of disparate objects on display around my house and studio, which occasionally leads to an idea for a new form."
The Pentabase Bookrest, for example, began with a plastic record holder used to organize papers around the studio. By simply tipping the plastic piece to a 45° angle, the idea for a bookstand that would present the spine of each book in an "active" position, ready to be grasped was formed. The same basic form has been applied to additional pieces, including a side table and planter.
Other pieces that follow a similar process include Magliaro's Cast Cairns, a series of beach stones cast in bronze, brass, and copper at a small, family-owned foundry in Portland, and his Symbolic Surface Series, a collection of furnishings that make use of the unmistakable Bacterio laminate designed by Ettore Sottsass for Abet Laminati in 1978.
In the past year, Table of Contents has evolved from a retail space to an exhibition space presenting work that suggests a similar interest in the possibility for design to transform the everyday into something not limited by function, but open to the idea of inspiring curiosity and wonder. For more on Magliaro's work and the latest from Table of Contents, please visit tableofcontents.us.
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