The industrial design of surface is centered on deferring to the display, to the interactive surface which the product is named after.   We wanted to set the stage for interaction, to have the platform fall away underneath as a highly reduced, nearly monolithic object.  Shown in the background are some pedestal-based designs I worked on as we discussed options for using surface while standing...the decision was made to keep to the more intimate and communal "coffee table" expression, which I think was a good move.   I've often observed in community spaces like restaurants and coffee shops that people are reluctant to walk up to a table and share the space, but the low coffee tables are almost always shared - and serve as a hub for new acquaintances and interactions.