The Friction table, launched during this year’s Frieze art fair, is the result of research by the Thomas Heatherwick-led studio into the way furniture can adapt to different spaces and needs. Sheets of paper set in resin were used to create the latticed structure of this table, described by the designers as a “substantial table that transforms to offer two forms”, the lattice formation stretches out to accommodate both large and small groups of people.
“The studio first became interested in the idea of furniture that could change its proportions whilst in fact thinking about another design problem,” explained Heatherwick Studio. “Experimenting with the pivot mechanism, the studio prototyped this concept in a number of objects, further developing and refining it over the years,” the studio told Dezeen. “After exploring various forms, the example of an expanding table became the preferred expression of this idea.”
The table is formed from slats made out of paper sheets that have been solidified in resin. “Its grain and texture are derived from the fibres of the paper and the alternating orientation of the layers,” said the studio. “The resulting surface has a rich tactile quality and a naturally mottled colour which ages gracefully over time.” Each of these 61 slats were slotted onto a main frame and pinned into place by hand. They were then calibrated and aligned, so that the lattice opens up as it the table legs are pulled outwards. The shape stretches out from a circular surface that can seat eight people, to a four-metre-long elliptical structure that can accommodate large team meetings and get togethers.
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