Artists often use their canvas to make a political statement Ė but save the occasional chair-made-of-garbage, we donít often see this in furniture design. Thatís what makes the New Baghdad Table, which combines an unmistakable comment on current events with a beautiful, functional piece of furniture, so notable. Created from an aerial photograph of the city of Baghdad taken just weeks before the American occupation of Iraq began in 2003, the table captures the city exactly as it was at that moment. The cityís most recognizable features, the Tigris River and the main streets, are clearly visible on the table, which is welded together from hundreds of industrial extruded aluminum profiles, all assembled together to represent Baghdad. Even the
buildings and other structures within the city are represented on this imaginative and futuristic piece of furniture-as-art.
The designer of the piece, Ezri Tarazi, is a Jerusalem-born Israeli and one of the Middle Eastís preeminent design scholars. He served as the head of the Department of Industrial Design at the Bezalel Academy
Ė the same school he attended from 1986-1990 -- and then as chairman of the schoolís Master of Industrial Design program from 2004 through 2006. On the commercial side, he established his own Tarazi Design
Studio in Shoham, Israel in 1996. However, the Baghdad table is produced in conjunction with the Italian firm Edra at their factory in Perigano Piza, Italy.