Table Talk


From The Globe and Mail (January 15, 2000)

by Kelly Rude

Critics may have some issues with Miss Wyoming,but never one to miss a beat, Douglas Coupland has lent his name to a series of coffee tables. Part of a new collection by Edmonton's cheeky home-furnishings firm, Pure Design, the tables feature square or rectangular tops inlaid with coloured laminate polka dots, and circles inlaid to resemble targets; they retail from $198 to $449. "Clean and simple," is how Coupland describes them in the catalogue, but these whimsically named tables -- "Lichtenstein," "Jasper" (as in Johns), "Hockey Night in Canada" -- are also send-ups of sixties pop art canvases. Coupland's parody goes over the top, however, in an absurd-looking white "organic" coffee table titled "Henry" (as in Moore) that retails for $789. But the Vancouver author also trained as a sculptor, so who knows what's next in his prolific output?

Coupland's pieces are certainly the most lightweight in Pure's 50-piece 2000 Collection, which includes work by Canada's Karim Rashid and Scot Laughton, Britain's Procter:Rihl and New York's Laurene and Constantin Boym. But they are also evidence of marketing savvy at work in the offices of Pure, which includes an essay by Coupland in its catalogue titled The Meaning of Style. "Do I have style?" he muses. "Yes. No. Style for the sake of style is pointless. It just is. I just do what I do. It's hit and miss, but what the heck."

Pure Design's 2000 Collection has its Toronto launch at Urban Mode on Jan. 19, and can be seen at the Interior Design Show Jan. 21-23. For more information go to or call 1-800-483-5643.