Shanghai designer Zhili Liu has designed a collection of steel and aluminium tables with branched legs.
Called Shrub, the collection includes a two-metre dining table, smaller round table and side table.
The six milimetre-thick aluminium tops are screwed to the branching steel legs, and the screw heads form decorative elements in the tables' surfaces.
More about Zhili Liu on Dezeen: Bird lighting.
Here's a little text from the designer:
Shrub tables (design & prototyping 2009)
Chinese manufacturing is usually famous for large quantity, low quality and very limited new material and technology. So for Chinese designers, creating low quantity products with high quality in both design and manufacturing has always been a tougher task than it is in most other places. I have been trying to create high specification products with typical Chinese industrial materials and basic techniques, through unusual design and engineering, and these tables are the first prototypes in this direction - which I believe could be another route for "Chinese design" aside from reinterpreting the traditional decorative elements.
The exposed sunken screws bolt together the table top with all the "branches" of table legs, forming dozens of stable triangles, which make the table top part of the frame to share the stress in the legs, thus material needed to make a table is minimized. the 2-metre dining table has a top with 6mm even thickness, from edge to centre, without any space technology or exotic material, just thin steel rods, aluminium sheet and a roadside workshop, and the randomly spread fastening screws also become the decorative elements here.
Cut, bent, welded and powder coated.