Manifold by Anthony Leyland

British designer Anthony Leyland launched a collection of tables made of folded steel at Designersblock in London last month.

Called Manifold, the project consists of a range of coffee tables that are cut and bent into various forms without fixings.

The designs are formed from a single sheet of steel and powder-coated.

See all our stories about London Design Festival 2009 in our special category.

Here's some information about the product and designer:


"Manifold 2 is the result of a mathematical game to create a coffee table from a square sheet of material, by cutting and bending alone, with no other components. It is a process which, in spite of its constraints, permits a limitless number of solutions.

The series’ creator, Anthony Leyland, is a mathematician, artist and designer; his work uses rules and constraints to drive the creative process, with readymade natural, industrial and conceptual objects.

To make the search for solutions more manageable, Anthony has further restricted this first series to elementary geometry - straight lines, arcs, rotational and mirror symmetries. He also decided to exclude, as far as possible, his personal sense of taste from the process, by looking systematically for the possible, rather than only the attractive. And yet, when these simple constraints are systematically explored and applied, the results are varied, striking and beautiful. There is a surprising and fascinating diversity of styles and nuances, revealing how a small change in angle or curve can dramatically change the personality of the design.

The series is presented unedited, primarily to demonstrate the scope of the process, but also for practical reasons - everyone has a different set of favourites and rejects, making it impossible to make a definitive shortlist. shows every design created (and digitised) since 2001, when Anthony started playing with the idea; no doubt it will continue to expand.

The first batch into production are coffee tables, made from 1 metre square sheets of 6 mm steel, with powder coated finishes.

Sustainability was a primary concern in the choice of steel. The tables themselves are practically indestructible, lasting as long as they are needed; the designs inherently avoid combining the steel with other materials or components, which can be easily extracted and recycled infinitely (without loss in quality).

These designs are scale and material “agnostic”, and can easily be reworked as desks, large tables etc. The process itself can be applied to many other design problems and requirements. Limited editions in glass, stainless steel, and aluminium are under consideration."