Patricia Urquiola has a penchant of designing quirky and bold furnishing that are sometimes surreal and yet practical. The Bend Sofa mimics the lines and curves of 3D graphics that you expect to see on the computer screen and the Husk Chair imagines how it would be like to be surrounded by tons of cushions. Yet, all these surreal designs manages the practicality of being very comfortable. Today, we will look at Patricia Urquiola’s 2004 design for B&B Italia, the Fat Fat (With fabulous pictures from B&B Italia Website).
Well, I don’t know about you, for me, I am expecting something really bulky when I first heard that name. But the Fat Fat is no Lady Fat (pun intended). It is visually light and minimalist. Patricia’s Lady Fat does fit that namesake. Both the Fat Fat and Lady Fat are coffee tables, but are vastly different in design (their only similarity is really only in the tray). Since our focus of the day is on Fat Fat, I shall discuss Lady Fat in another post.
The Fat Fat is a series of Coffee and Side Tables for the Living Room and even the bedroom. It consists of thin wire frame legs topped with a round varnished tray. The thin wire frame legs is the best “slimming pill” for the Coffee Table as it frees up the visual space on the floor, allowing the beautiful rug, polished marble or warm wooden floor beneath it to be proudly visible. The thin tray like round top of the Fat Fat does not add visual bulk either. The uniformly thin profile design creates a really lightweight air around the Fat Fat, making it an ironic name. It may be done on purpose to create that contrast and to inscribe that impression when seeing that name and viewing the piece.
This Coffee Table is no formal table in suit and is great for that casual environment. It is minimalist and doesn’t scream luxury or extravagant. The Fat Fat will look great in a Minimalist Room, but will not do good for the formal settings of a Luxury Contemporary Design. Patricia Urquiola’s Fat Fat does score points as with her other designs for practicality. The round tray top flat, large and useful for entertaining guests. The most practical part of this design is in the tray itself. The raised border of the coffee table top is very much like any tray. It is this raised circumference tip that gives it the best practicality. Any spilling of the drinks will not wet your expensive carpet or that nicely crafted wooden floor. The raised tip acts as a barrier to prevent spilled drinks and small amounts of water from destroying your precious. This is what I felt unique in the Fat Fat’s design which most coffee tables doesn’t offer.
Available in 3 different heights (Pictures from Campbell Watson).
The only description on B&B Italia’s website that I can’t put a finger on is the Fat Fat’s “clear oriental inspiration”. Nevertheless, the lack of this design insight does not discount any marks that I will put on the Fat Fat. It’s still a great design.