When we think about a pair of anything, we usually picture a matching pair – two identical objects meant to go together. But a pair can also be two things that are such opposites they obviously belong together. Brian Khouw created a pair of opposite and opposing bedside tables for his project, which he calls Metropolis.
Both tables are made with wooden bases and concrete bodies, but it is the “character” imbued in them by their designer that makes them opposites. The “day” table has a light, appealing aesthetic. Its untreated wood base makes it look simple and humble. The drawer pull is just the top part of the drawer pulled down in what looks remarkably like a smile. If there is a piece of furniture that could be called friendly looking, this would be it.
The “night” table, on the other hand, is far less friendly in appearance. Its dark base and drawer front give it a more mysterious quality. The drawer front is textured in a rocky geometric pattern – but what really stands out is the way you pull out the drawer. To do this, you must stick your hand into the table a little, reaching over the jagged edge of the drawer front, inspiring just a second of fear. Of course, there is nothing inherently friendly or unfriendly about either table – it is all in the way we see the materials and unconsciously assign personalities to objects. Khouw’s project is the perfect example of the importance of materials in the way any product is perceived.