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Design Politics and ‘Proper’ Table Height

To say a certain design is “proper” is to say everything else <em>but</em> that design is wrong – and that flies in the face of prevailing politics in the design world. Designers, although a fickle bunch, will always defend artistic freedom to the death. Instead, it’s much easier to talk about standards. A common example is the standard height of the average <a title="Dining Tables" href="http://www.atgstores.com/dining-tables_1001.html?linkLoc=topnav" target="_blank">dining room table</a>. It’s important for items like tables to have standard measurements so people generally know what to expect, which is why most dining tables will have a height of 28 to 30 inches from the floor. But, is that <em>right</em>? Is that the way it has to be? The short answer is, “No.” Of course not. Maybe you’re part of a large Norwegian family and everyone but runty Olaf is well over 6 feet tall. There’s nothing wrong with using a <a title="Counter Height Tables" href="http://www.atgstores.com/type_1001.html?&amp;option0=optionA=256428|18378~Valu" target="_blank">counter-height table</a> as the dining room centerpiece. Yet, there is still room in the discussion for the question of what’s “proper” when it comes to Olaf and other people like him who may be uncomfortable with having their feet dangle while they try to engage in grownup conversation at the dinner table. <em>In other words, should furniture be selected for the comfort of the few, or for the good of the many?</em> [caption id="attachment_11544" align="aligncenter" width="147"]<a title="Tall Counter Height Table" href="http://www.atgstores.com/dining-tables/art-home-furniture-2-piece-coronado-counter-height-trestle-dining-table-barcelona_g988651.html?isku=7640972&amp;linkloc=cataLogProductItemsImage" target="_blank"><img class=" wp-image-11544 " title="Tall Table" src="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/talltable-300x300.jpg" alt="counter height tables" width="147" height="147" /></a> Tall Tables = Oppression[/caption] This is where the politics of furniture comes into play. It’s hard to argue that a particular design is wrong, especially when the form serves the function, but failing to accommodate people’s differences is socially questionable and therefore arguably “improper.” The best answer may be one of priority: Serve your family first, your community of friends second and explain to the rest that their dinner invitations must’ve gotten lost in the mail. <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> welcomes you to comment on furniture politics and the comfort and approval of the Joneses.
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