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September 1, 2008

To place items on a table: that's one way to go about it. However as of late, tables have been cropping up with the added—or subtracted, rather—element of a hole in the table's surface. A hole through which a plant can grow, or on which you can put a tray of moss: the trend perhaps originates with the increased fervor for bringing outdoors inside as it takes the houseplant one step further, to houseplant as furniture. Most recently, the New York-based design firm of Hellman-Chang has given birth to a celebrated modern iteration of the concept: the Tao Table.

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The table's hole is centered in the top, a square that begs for something. And as for what it begs for, the design duo of Daniel Hellman and Eric Chang offer the options of a bamboo cutting board, acid-etched glass or custom stone. To leave it open is to leave room for a sculpture, a light, or a plant to grow from the shelf below. With these designers' backgrounds spanning classical music and finance, the versatility of the table is fitting.

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