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If I could choose anywhere to have a cup of coffee, a perfect cup of smoldering black coffee, I might choose the garden above at the Noguchi Museum in New York (Long Island City, Queens. due east of Central Park, across the river). Everything looks right, particularly that table. Lots of designers have had a shot at making a coffee table, mostly for indoors.

This is pretty swell, called Salontafel 20. It has a lot of Apple in it, I think.

And this is pure Apple: the itable is a big ipod where you can store analog old school printed paper material inside and rest your coffee cup, and sunglasses, on top. The two above are from here.

The inspiration for the above table is a bit older than Apple with a capital A. It is as old as paper because as long as there has been paper, there has been somebody folding it and seeing if it will fly.

Someone named Hoon Roh modified (very nicely) an ironing board into a coffee table.

The musicians in your circle of friends may like to set their coffee mug on this number. Rock on. (no strings, no fretting). Above 3 seen here.

Hey, Jason Taylor made a Brush Table (shine your shoes while you sit and gab). Seen here

OK, this is nice to look at and it’s more than just pretty: it’s a trolley, movable to where you want it. Called the ego, found here.

This is just cute as a button. Introduced at the Milan Furniture Fair 2010, designed by Luca Nichetto for Gallotti & Radice, and seen here.

If you look underneath this table, you will see an endless, very modern, mineshaft. It’s called Vertigo designed by Eero Koivisto. Seen here

No gimmicks here, perfect for no frills coffee, straight from the pot, in a beautiful cup. Design by Alain Gilles, seen at dezeen.

But for all the fun and freshness of these variations on the caffeine slab, it’s hard to beat what Isamu Noguchi designed over 60 years ago, and which has been produced continuously by Herman Miller since 1948. This is a table that could help mend a friendship, as long as the coffee was good.

A lot of us have a desk job. I got to wondering about the perfect desk. What would it be?

Office interior, above, 1954, Seagram Building, New York. View, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Esto Photographics. Photo: Ezra Stoller. pic from MOMA see here

For a long time, I was stuck on the idea of working in a place like the above. Not sure whether the man himself designed that simple table/desk, but I presume he approved it. A similar one was designed in Denmark about the same time.

Above Professor Desk designed by Poul Kjaerholm 1955. See here. Still available for about the cost of a small car.

Here’s a more recent design on the same simple table-top-on-4-legs theme. From Italy.

It’s called the Miro Executive Desk from Flex Ufficio in Italy Product image from here

I do like the simplicity of those, but I’m thinking I’d like something more desky. And besides, the three above are desks for people who need to face the room, so they can keep an eye on the door–Executives, school counselors, private eyes. But I can do, and probably should do, with a desk pushed up against the wall.

Mmm, called Ursuline, designed by Pierre Paulin.

Also nice, called Villa Rose, designed by Francois Azambour

And this, called Split, designed by Meike Russler. All 3 above produced by Ligne Roset. Spotted at the nice blog, the beat that made my heart skip, see here

This is quite desky, isn’t it? By Dare Studio seen here

So is this Danish flip flop designed by Peter Løvig Nielsen. Seen at the wonderful Mid Century Modernist

So there’s no shortage of things to like. I figured I would get advice from someone who needed a good desk for his work. Like Saul Steinberg. What was his desk like?

Photo by Inge Morath. Hmm looks pretty much like a slab of wood on saw horses.

Those of us of lesser gifts need a bit more help I think. I came across this in a house by Frank Lloyd Wright.

That little corner appeals to me a lot. FLW designed a built-in desk in the corner of the room–the kids‘ room. Known as the Leighey house, image from here

And that reminded me of my all-time dream workplace, the room in the house Luis Barragan designed that serves symbolically as the head office republic of less. My perfect desk needs to go here.

There’s already a table that could serve for the time being (maybe forever). But surely there is a perfect desk for this perfect room. Surely

Maybe this.

Cavour Desk by Carlo Mollino, 1949, still available from Zanotta. Seen here for eg. My my my.

I’ve seen lots of wonderful desks, but I haven’t seen the perfect desk for the perfect room. Not yet. And even though I know I may never find it, and even if I did, it might not help me do what I do any better at all, I’m going to keep on looking. Sometimes you just have to. Hey look at this:

De la espada Atlantico Parallel Desk. Go here.

But look at this from France, designed in 1930.

Desk designed by Jean Michel Frank in 1930. For me??? Seen here. But what’s that over there………………..?

(You can check out how other people with desk jobs are getting by at Desk Space)

A lot of thought and design talent has gone into providing us with places to take a load off our legs.

Some cities put chairs in the park, chairs you can move to the best spot for you. Above image from apartment therapy.

So do some museums (like the MOMA in NYC). Image of the Sculpture Garden from the Project for Public Spaces.

It is the ambition of lots of chairs to live at the Vitra Design Museum. Poster available here for instance.

Many chairs have been designed to make your eyes smile as much as to ease your weariness. The chair above is by British designer Charlie Davidson shown here for eg

I’ve loved this nickle-plated steel mesh armchair for a very long time, just from its picture. It’s called How High The Moon, designed by Shiro Kuramata in 1986. Pic from the Chair Blog.

Barcelona + chair: pretty much perfect for an important conversation or if you are just waiting for one to start. Thank you Mr Mies. This image above from designboom.

A new and lovely variation on the outside movable chair, maybe coming to a park near you, lucky you. By Danish designer Kasper Salto called the NAP chair, seen by some in Milan, seen by me at dezeen.

This is where the invisible man sits, lucky him. By Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka also to be seen in Milan if you have excellent eyes, but my eyes saw it at dezeen again. I should get out more.

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