Elegant and imposing, this table designed by Carlo Scarpa features every characteristic of industrial style and design. This piece of furniture focuses on shapes and dimensions, and it’s impossible to ignore it once it’s in a room. There is nothing subtle about the Doge table, just like there is no subtlety in Scarpa’s work. Each detail is carefully thought of, and each piece designed by Scarpa showcases his abilities and artisanship.
Each piece the Italian designer created was meant to make an impression. And it was also meant to inspire conversations, feelings, and ideas in both the people and the design industry itself. Thanks to the combination of different materials and an eye for forms and shapes, this table is more than a piece of decor. It embodies the legacy of Tobia Scarpa, innovative and inspiring (even decades later).
The Specs of the Doge Table
The Italian designer created this table for Studio Simon in 1968. At first, Scarpa designed it only as a one-piece for the home of Zentner in Zurich. However, the original plane was made of wood and inlays of colored marble. Definitely different from the mass-production Doge table. The changes came when the designer and Dino Gavina (the founder of Studio Simon) met, and Gavina criticized one detail. According to him, the wooden plane wasn’t adequate since it wasn’t transparent. The brass legs looked great, so why hide them?
Scarpa agreed, and he asked himself, “what material would work better?” Perhaps crystal. In fact, the 1968 version of the Doge table features a crystal slab instead of wood. This way, people could see the majesty of the wooden structure below. The supports of this delicate slab are two cylinders of brass, solid and resistant. The system features visible screws, definitely a different type of assembly. The transparency of the crystal slab allows people to admire these industrial-style details.
Imposing and elegant, indeed. But also innovative thanks to its technique, materials, and concepts. The shine of brass and crystal made sure the table got noticed. The Doge table doesn’t fade in the background.
The Story Behind It
The Doge table represents two details of design in the 60s. One of them is the relationship between Scarpa and Gavina, both personal and professional. The two worked together, and they were also friends. They valued each other’s opinions, and that’s why Scarpa substituted the wood. A crucial detail for the success of this table.
The second detail this table represents is Scarpa’s love for combining materials. It didn’t matter if the design rules told him the materials clashed. In fact, Scarpa loved to mix things that (traditionally) didn’t go together, like crystal transparency and brass’s coldness. Or the wood of his original Doge table, combined with the same brass cylinders. Hot and cold meet in this unique piece.
This table also shows the best industrial style. Traditionally, tables didn’t feature visible screws. The assembly was almost a secret, and people only got to see the final and polished creation. With industrial style and Italian designers like Tobia Scarpa, screws are a crucial part of the assembly, and they are visible. Nothing to be ashamed of.
The Doge table is elegant and imposing. If it’s in a room, people won’t be able to miss it. The eye immediately goes to the shine of the crystal slab and the cold, brass legs. It has all the characteristics of industrial style and Scarpa’s philosophy. Different shapes and materials combine to create this 1968 table. It made an impression, no doubt.