The Parsons Table
By Lisa April 4th, 2011
Its springtime and on college campuses all over, students are finishing up (hopefully) their semester projects. They can only hope that the result of their endeavors has the life span of the Parsons Table (originally named the T-square table)! This design classic was born out of a 1930’s course taught at the Paris Atelier (now known as the Parsons Paris School of Art and Design) by the French designer Jean-Michel Frank. A June 2006 New York Times article states “Frank challenged students to design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished.” The table was first produced for a student show (by the janitor!). Many early versions were upholstered, often in leather. Hollywood used mirrors as a treatment to reflect the glamour of the 1940’s. Kind of makes you want to see what is going on at MCAD, doesn’t it?