Transforming a Middle Eastern traditional product into a contemporary piece.
Concept and Inspiration
Inspiration for Sofra (Turkish word for table full of food) came from my own experiences and culture. As it is with many cultures, dining and eating is a crucial part of my culture especially dining on the floor. It can be a very informal experience with no physical restrictions which encourages a more social environment. It is more about dining being a social gathering rather than a necessity.
My intention was to fuse Middle Eastern priorities with the Western home to bring the modern home benefits and at the same time modernising this piece of improvised furniture, which is usually a metal tray propped up on a base. This is to encourage floor culture as there are a lot of benefits that come with it, including health.
The concept very much relies on Turkish/ Middle Eastern connections and explores the informality and improvisational qualities of this old function. This product can add an original twist to social gatherings and can help introduce floor culture to more people around the world.
Technical and Production
The decision to use terracotta for the storage base was out of the earthy feel of the material as there was a strong desire to keep the aesthetic natural. The cork lid beneath the table top was mostly for its aesthetic balance with the terracotta and the maple top allowed a great relationship between food and the other materials.
Everything for this product depended on the size of the terracotta as this material had shrinkage and without a mould it would be impossible for it to end up at the size it should. Technical drawings were developed after the terracotta was made for the base.
Decisions about the size were made to allow the product to be slightly higher than the knee when sitting down and measurements of the cork lid and maple top was suited to fit the terracotta base.