I did a double-take when I first saw designer Luis A. Arrivillaga’s artisanal table, a piece that, in turn, had just turned some heads at the recently-concluded Milan Furniture Fair. My reaction was partly owed to the name of this combination wood-Cristalplant piece—“Putia,” which is perilously close to a certain and all-too-commonly used expletive in my native Spanish. God bless the fine print, in this case, wherein Arrivillaga explains the name’s origins: “I decided to name the project Putia while I was walking along the little roads of Ragusa Ibla in Sicily; in fact, this name in Sicilian means craftsman’s studio.”
Putia Table. Designed by Luis A. Arrivillaga.
Putia’s Profile is Lean and Elegant
The above makes it sound as if Putia were, in fact, a leggy Italian supermodel, rather than a finely crafted synergy of two unlikely materials. The piece’s wondrously thin top is made of Cristalplant—the new superhero of bathtub surfaces—while the long, long legs are made of solid wood. Perhaps it’s merely because they’re set off by the astoundingly svelte contour of the tabletop, but Putia’s legs remind me of Valeria Golino’s great line in the silly 1991 comedy Hot Shots. In response to Charlie Sheen’s obnoxious ogling of her legs... “I just had them lengthened. Now they go all the way up.”
Putia’s legs certainly flirt with “going all the way up,” but they’re stopped short by the comely curves at the heart of the piece: the four junctions that articulate the meeting of the materials, as well as give Putia its distinctive, contrasting, and compelling aesthetic. For Arrivillaga, “the corner is the real fulcrum of the project. It hides but at the same time shows, unifies, and divides... the corner turns into a curve and then creates an absolute continuity between the two materials.”
About the Designer: Luis A. Arrivillaga is a designer living in London, but prior to that he created a sport magazine in Guatemala; studied Mechanical Engineering at the University Rafal Lindivar; and earned a Masters in Material and Industrial design in Milan before going on to study under Matali Crasset at the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo. He has also worked at Flowserve, the Lai Architectural Studio, and the Atelier Biagetti. Currently with Nikid Design, his recent Putia Table just won the MDF Italia + Cristalplant Design Contest at the Milan Furniture Fair.