Jeroen Verhoeven, Cinderella table, 2005.
The Cinderella table is a reinterpretation of historic forms through contemporary computer-related design and production techniques, as well as a virtuoso example of the use of plywood. It was designed by Jeroen Verhoeven while still a student at the prestigious Design Academy, Eindhoven in The Netherlands. With this table, Verhoeven aimed to rediscover the craftsmanship and poetry of making, which is concealed by today’s complex design and manufacturing systems. It alludes to grandeur through the outlines of historically grand furniture in its profiles, yet it is also economical and humble, an unadorned plywood shell with no applied surface. These contradictions, or juxtapositions, are commonly found in recent Dutch design.
The design originates with the outlines of an eighteenth century-style commode (chest of drawers) and table which were merged together on computer to produce the form of the three-dimensional plywood shell. The outlines of the commode and table are still visible in two dimensions at right angles to each other. Verhoeven worked with a specialist company that ordinarily builds boats. The table was made by virtually cutting the design on computer into 58 slices, every one a development in shape from the last. Each slice was cut from plywood 80mm thick using advanced computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) cutting tools to ensure accuracy. All the slices were assembled and the table was finished and surfaced by hand.