In a world that is becoming more and more digitized with its interactions, there's an undeniable allure to gathering around a table. With the power to shape our surroundings, furniture plays a unique role in how we interact with spaces and their occupants. It goes beyond aesthetics or functionality — it becomes a storyteller. With this ethos at the heart of each of his projects, industrial designer Alex Brokamp has partnered with Grand Rapids Chair to launch the new Louie Occasional Table. Alex embraces the idea that furniture can foster human connection through playful shapes that recount childhood nostalgia. In a harmonious blend of form and function, the Louie Occasional Table invites us to explore the interplay between approachable design and the unexpected moments that unfold during shared experiences.
Louie Side Table shown with table top finished in RAL 6005, Moss Green and Natural legs. Louie Coffee Table shown with table top finished in RAL 3012, Beige Red and Kona legs.
Alex Brokamp's Journey into Industrial Design
Alex Brokamp, a Los Angeles-based industrial designer, focuses on bridging a technically refined aesthetic with a lighthearted simplicity that aims to produce objects that are strangely familiar, rather than simply mysterious. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Alex's early interests in creating and crafting were sparked by childhood activities like skateboarding and building skateboard ramps with his father. These formative experiences ignited his passion for design and object creation. Initially considering a switch to sculpture during his studies at the University of Cincinnati, Alex ultimately found his calling in industrial design — finding a balance between fine art and functional design that furniture and lighting offered.
During his time at the University of Cincinnati, Alex completed several internships, which fueled his interest in furniture and lighting design. After completing his undergraduate studies, Alex pursued a master's degree in furniture and lighting design at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Since then, he has continued to embrace his skills as a designer, teaching at Otis College of Art and Design in LA. Alongside his teaching career, Alex operates his own studio and works for the design studio Perron-Roettinger, working on various industrial and furniture design projects.
The Louie Occasional Table: A Playful Interpretation
The Louie Occasional Table plays into Alex's design philosophy where personal experiences and connections influence the creation of functional, artistic pieces that users can relate to. The inspiration for Louie comes from Alex's childhood experiences — in this instance, playing baseball. The goal was to create a piece that felt strangely familiar, bringing to light personal stories and resonating with users on a deeper level.
Louie Side and Coffee Table shown with a Honey Yellow table top and Natural legs. Rita Lounge shown with Kvadrat – Rewool, 0558 upholstery and frame with a RAL 420-2 metal finish.
The roundness of baseball bat ends became a source of inspiration, creating a sense of familiarity. Providing a charming yet sturdy place for belongings, the Louie Occasional Table flaunts generously proportioned legs which contrast beautifully with a thin steel tabletop. This contrast accentuates the "chubbiness" of the legs, making them a central design element. To emphasize this, the legs peek through the tabletop, creating an eye-catching detail that welcomes users to interact.
Alex's vision for Louie extended beyond its form — he wanted to create a flexible piece that could complement any space. From celebrating neutral tones to expressing bold hues, the Louie Occasional Table empowers creativity. Available in two sizes, including a 16" diameter side table and a 34" diameter occasional table, the table's combination of chunky wood legs and a powder-coated steel frame allowed for a wide range of customization options, making the Louie Occasional Table an adaptable piece for commercial spaces of all kinds.
RELATED: Learn more about our Finishes and Options.
Louie Coffee and Side Table with a Dusty Blue table top and Acron legs. Andy Lounge chairs shown with Kvardrat – Triangle, 0972 upholstery, and a wooden base finished in Acorn.
The Process — A Peek Behind The Curtain
Design lovers often have an appetite to dive into the inner workings of the creative process, and Alex is no exception. His documentation of "behind-the-scenes" is not just for personal fulfillment, but to open a door for others to resonate with. A particularly interesting step in Alex's evolution of the Louie Occasional Table was the full-scale model that was prototyped from paper and cardboard. The unassuming model played a crucial role in the design of the table, allowing Alex to fine-tune proportions and details.
In the world of furniture design, creativity thrives in a blend of aesthetics and functionality. The Louie Occasional Table illustrates this spirit by capturing the essence of personal stories and playful elements in a functional, customizable piece. Explore the Louie Occasional Table today.