Spreadsheets and tables: book project

à table by Martino Gamper

I thought I should add this to the site as a project, even though I had less to do with it than some of the others – it’s a nice book. 102 pages on tables by the Italian designer, Martino Gamper. The graphic design is by Roland Brauchli, it’s published in paperback by ingwer and edited by Roland, Martino and his wife, Francis. I copy-edited it, but there are more images than words.

It’s called à table, or tutti a tavola (though it also includes a few cabinets and room dividers). The tables are beautiful: slices of bright yellow, orange, turquoise, green and pastel pink; geometric patterns of inlaid Alpi wood on irregular shapes; Gio Ponti furniture reworked in laminate and linoleum. Some have a lazy susan in the middle – or two, why not. If I could afford it, I’d choose the blue nonagon off-sliced table, top left.

The book includes a short text from the table’s perspective by the novelist, Deborah Levy, which is a lovely piece of writing. During a proof, I picked up the line, “I am here for your spaghetti and spread sheets.” But is it a mistake? Is it a play on ‘spread sheets’ – tablecloths and napkins, or washing even – or does she mean here for your work, like your Excel spreadsheets? Could she mean both? Chances are it isn’t a typo in the original when the rest of the text is flawless. So it could be a double-meaning, but the rest of the prose is very direct. There’s also a chance I could be overanalysing. What even is language. More likely, it’s a glitch in the layout, an accidental space. But can we ask her, to be sure?

Spreadsheets. Of course.

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