Ripple table by
Benjamin Hubert

| 16 comments

London Design Festival 2013: London designer Benjamin Hubert claims to have created the world's lightest timber table and is showing it off at the Aram Gallery in London this week (+ movie).

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Benjamin Hubert worked with Canadian manufacturer Corelam to develop the table, which is 2.5 metres long, one metre wide and weighs just nine kilograms.

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The structure was made by corrugating three layers of 0.8 millimetre-thick birch aircraft plywood. The edge of the table is just 3.5 millimetres thick.

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The corrugated wooden structure is covered with a plain sheet to give a flat top, while the A-frame legs are made from a sandwich of two corrugated layers.

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"Made using 70-80 percent less material than a standard timber table, Ripple can be assembled and manoeuvred by a single person," Hubert said.

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Ripple will be launched at the Aram Store in London's Covent Garden as part of a solo exhibition of Hubert's work taking place during the London Design Festival.

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Benjamin Hubert has also designed a chair made from lightweight woven mesh and aluminium that weighs just three kilograms, another chair with a seat and back formed from a single curled sheet of plywood, and a series of tables made from expanded steel mesh – see more products by Benjamin Hubert.

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Here's a project description from the designer:


Ripple: Benjamin Hubert Research

Benjamin Hubert has designed the world’s lightest timber table as part of an internal studio research project into lightweight constructions. The table, titled Ripple, is 2.5 metres long, 1 metre wide, and weighs just 9 kilograms. Made using 70-80% less material than a standard timber table, Ripple can be assembled and manoeuvred by a single person.

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The table's impressive strength to weight ratio is enabled by an innovative production process of corrugating plywood for furniture through pressure lamination, which was developed by Benjamin Hubert with Canadian manufacturer Corelam.

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Ripple is made entirely from 3 ply 0.8mm birch aircraft plywood, a timber sourced only in Canada, where the table is manufactured. The material is the same as that used in construction of the Hughes H-4 Hercules – popularly known as the "Spruce Goose" – the world’s largest all timber airplane. The strength of the material in combination with the unique lamination process means the edge of Ripple measures just 3.5mm.

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Ripple is minimal in its design language, employing a simple knockdown construction. The top surface is corrugated plywood overlaid by a flat sheet, and the A-frame legs are a sandwich construction of two corrugated plywood layers.

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Ripple will be launched at Aram Store during London Design Festival in September as part of Benjamin Hubert’s inaugural UK solo exhibition, Antecedents. It will be available to buy from September on commission through Benjamin Hubert.

Material: Canadian Spruce 0.8mm aircraft plywood
Dimensions: L2.5mxW1mxH0.74m

  • Alain

    Retro-design, with a touch of futuristic sound, a new marketing experience ?

    • John

      A good piece of research design but the designers over inflated marketing hugely detracts for me.

  • Take it easy

    Did he really check all the existing tables before claiming for the world’s lightest table? How do you weigh a table anyway? Would love to see images of different tables on a scale…

  • Live Berg

    Brilliant!

  • Des

    Magnificent!

  • Jordi Lopez

    Well done Sir Benjamin!

  • Peter

    I can’t imagine this is very sturdy, at 2.5m long it looks and feels too flimsy.

    Although it is great to have a physically light table, I always feel it is good too have product represent its size a purpose visually, it looks flimsy and thus I think people will naturally be put off buying it/dubious of its functionality, at least they will if they are purchasing online without seeing and feeling it (which makes up a big portion of sales these days).

    Either way, its a nice piece from a research perspective and it is also an original use of technology. Legs splay quiet heavily though, taking up a fair amount of space.

  • John Walker

    This is great, love the way it looks. Two issues though – the green credentials don’t mean squat when this thing (given that it’s Aram) will sell for such a high margin and in such low quantities that any benefits are inconsequential. Secondly, while increasing the manoeuvrability of a table is handy, this comes at a cost to stability and inertia. Basically you’re not going to want anyone to accidentally bump into this thing or get up too quickly from their chair if it’s laid up.

  • Allun

    Light tables are not good tables. You’d be needing some heavy dinner plates to stop that thing skipping all over the place.

  • Earth to Matilda

    Very nice indeed.

  • tin

    Why does a table like this one have to be light? Rather than her lifting it up I would like to see him standing on it. You should prove stability, not lightness. Sophomoric as usual.

  • holistic

    If you look at the text and video etc – it’s clear that perhaps peoples idea of lightness should not be solely about physical weight – what about the minimal use of materials – that is very light on the environment.

  • holistic

    Seems very light on the environment too. Not everything about lightness means weight.

  • amsam

    A very light table does invite trouble from a heavy stack of books placed on one end. On the other hand, a girl wearing a sack can hold it over her head, so that’s something.

  • http://paulbeard.org/wordpress paul beard needs a gig.

    Interesting concept piece. Yes, it might be too light for practical use and it would have been useful to see a load on it (the model could have stood on it, as I doubt one would see a load of food and flatware that weighs as much as she does, slight as she seems to be).

    I could see something like as a sectional/leaved table with a connective component that fits into the corrugations. Make a pair of two foot sections with leg sockets and a joining component, and then allow additional 1-2 foot sections to be inserted, combining the lightness with ease of breakdown/storage and expandability.

    While the legs might be splayed too much to be practical, they could be rethought to include some way of adding weight/stability (leakproof receptacles for water/sand/other weight added to the base?).

    • beatrice

      Legs’ll bust off within five years.