Discommon Goods Is Rethinking The Automotive Coffee Table
A lot of things that are tried and true are thought of in that way for a reason, and though a deep-dish magnesium racing wheel with a circular piece of glass on top of it will never be an uncool piece of furniture, it isn’t exactly original anymore. This isn’t to say that being unique for the sake of being unique is something to be impressed by, but when you make something that pairs originality with impactful existing designs created by others—in this case unique coffee tables featuring some beloved super cars—then you have the best of both worlds, as they say.
Neil Ferrier started his company, Discommon Goods, to pursue imaginative design ideas into reality. From reimagined chronograph classics to futuristic whisky ware, the items they create are a result of good old optimism and talent—in other words, a can-do attitude mixed with hours of intricate machining on all manner of materials. They build some soft goods like watch rolls and wallets, but most of their output leans toward a modern aesthetic of an icily cool and mostly monochrome variety. Their recently completed coffee tables pictured here largely follow suit, but they are also very familiar—and in the case of the F40 for many, I’m guessing nostalgic.
Though they came from the same original idea, the tables are not templates with a different centerpiece swapped in. The Ford GT is heavily focused on texture for instance, with a ton of the overall build time dedicated to getting the tactile aspects just right while keeping a look of the car being in a wind tunnel. That table top was also milled out of one massive aluminum block, measuring 4’x’4’x3”.
The F40 on the other hand was required to be cut separate from its pool of aluminum in order to get the wing perfect, and unlike the Ford, the final product is completely smooth to the touch, with the seam between the car and its surrounding space being imperceptible to everything but the close eye.
The seminal idea for all of them though was, as Neil says, “A vehicular shape emerging from liquid metal.” The manifestations of that concept so far look like gorgeous metallic alligators, so it’s safe to say that Neil and his machining partners, Neal Feay Co., did justice to the idea. How does that actually happen though? It’s a process well beyond me, but here are some bullets to get a sense of just how much work goes into good minimalist design. Each car requires between 25-40 hours of CAD work to interpret the form and blend it into the plane of the table, and to use the latest piece, the F40, as an example, over 50 hours of program engineering went into the cutting of the car from the aluminum block; 20 different tools were used in the cutting; 8 setups were used for a total machining time of almost 25 hours; and the finishing after that was another 30.
In other words, each one takes some effort. The stated plan is to produce a series of ten one-off coffee tables, with the other commissions so far adding to the stylish duo already completed: a Miura is up next, followed by a Ferrari 512M and a Concorde in the near future. We can’t wait to see those and the rest that follow, but besides all the svelte prettiness of these pieces, we love the fact that their creators have built them to be used rather than simply looked at. They aren’t the kinds of fragile furniture not to be touched. Anyway, how could you resist?