Wooden table by Ruben Beckers
weighs just 4.5 kilograms


Cologne 2014: a grid of thin wooden strips supports the surface of this table by German designer Ruben Beckers to make it extremely lightweight (+ slideshow).

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

Ruben Beckers named his 4.5-kilogram poplar wood table kleinergleich5, which means "less than five".

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

"It is safe to assume that at just 4.5 kilograms, it is probably the lightest wooden table in the world," he said.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

Beckers employed a grid of extremely thin strips to create a rigid structure beneath the slender table top, so it could support objects placed on top.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

The lengths of wood slot together at five-centimetre intervals to create the lattice, which is 28 millimetres deep.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

Removable solid-wood legs are bent into the holes in the grid to connect them with the table top.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

The table is half the weight of Benjamin Hubert's lightweight table, unveiled during the London Design Festival last September.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

The table was designed during the Wood*Transformation project at Kassel School of Art and Design, and is currently on display as part of the [D3] Design Talents exhibition at imm cologne.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

This year's [D3] Contest was won by a storage rail based on a traditional Shaker-style peg board. Imm cologne continues until Sunday at the Koelnmesse exhibition centre.

Wooden table by Ruben Beckers weighs just 4.5 kilograms

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Posted on Friday January 17th 2014 at 6:00 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I love these studies into rapid-prototyping construction of ultra-lightweight wooden furniture designs. Ultimately, this will lead to printed furniture, using impossibly small amounts of material, saving energy and resources.

    The detail where the legs meet the table leaves more to be desired. An expansion of the grid into the legs would have been lovely.

  • vogueplaza

    The table looks very great. It must be very light.

    • rohtmuz

      4.5kg apparently!

      • schnibblez

        Wow that is so light.

  • ryu

    In this race for the lightest dining table (second only to China and India’s race to get a man on Mars) has anyone considered that it is not particularly practical to have a super-light table. One accidental slight knock and the creme anglaise could be all over your diner guests!

    That aside, if we are going to have such a race then we need a standardised unit of measure. I propose weight per plate (or wpp). So in the case of Benjamin Hubert he comes in at a very agreeable 0.95wpp (9.5kg / 10 sittings) whilst Ruben Beckers, although he has not confirmed the dimensions, I will estimate it is 8 sittings so a very respectable 0.56wpp.

    • Take the next step. The table is shipped this light and you add the weight to it at home by adding water.

      • mlk

        Take for ex. Moooi container table: it’s light and very unstable without sand or water inside.

  • joe

    I guess it is light, but, if there are comparisons to other products there needs to be some kind of reference surely? I could design a small side table and it would be ‘the lightest table in the world’ or in Rubens case a small desk. It’s silly to start saying these things unless there are benchmarks, at least Hubert’s had dimensions I suppose.

    • ryu

      Couldn’t agree more. I think I may have come up with the lightest. I just sit with a magazine on my lap.

      • deborah

        Looks like the desk sits one. There is no way you could dine on that: too narrow, legs poorly placed.

  • jules954



    Is it a firm table? It’s okay as a light table, but if she moves like a jelly, it won’t be a very useful. Beyond that, it’s beautiful.

  • J
    • pert

      First read then comment. It is even mentioned in the article.

    • Steve

      It is basically the same, except that Hubert’s is better researched, has better proportions and is far more sturdy. The wooden sections on the bottom of this table are very thin and would brake very quickly by inadvertently hitting the underside of the table with your knees. Also the legs wouldn’t last a month under daily use.

      • beatrice

        1. The legs on Hubert’s table are at ridiculous angles – they look silly – they take up too much space and over time the extremity of the angles will cause the joints to fail, if not immediately. There’s no way you could sit on the table without the legs splaying out flat.

        And you are wrong – you can see the U section on the D3 table are far far more solid – and the connections to the table are too. Also the angles of the legs make more sense. Visually they are better looking (my educated opinion) and will take better downwards force (the world’s educated opinion).

        2. “The wooden sections on the bottom of this table are very thin and would brake very quickly” – at a glance I’d say they are 5-6mm thick hardwood, joined in very small spacings. Assuming it’s all glued together, you’d have a very hard time breaking that even if you tried. You obviously have never used wood before.

        3. “Also the legs wouldn’t last a month under daily use.” – I actually thought that about Hubert’s table when I saw it and when I saw this one I thought – that’s better! They are closer to an Eames’ ply solution. Again, I very much doubt you understand wood.

        4. When you say Hubert’s is better researched, I think you may have swallowed some of his marketing drivel, and got suckered by some cliched rippled material.

        I don’t know either of these guys, but I know a lot about wooden tables and I can see that the D3 table will function better and looks much better. In terms of fuel in delivery both will save the planet.

        In terms of creating a brilliant solution for dining experiences, they both fail. Who the f*** would ever want a lightweight dining table? My god, what has happened to the world.

  • guest

    What is all this mentioning of “Benjamin Hubert’s table” about? I like his work but for the table credits definitely go to Corelam, the company that developed the corrugated plywood.

    Apart from that I am not sure if lightness is an important feature for a table. But I like it as an exercise how far you can push something.

    • Steve

      A company makes a material. It is up to the designer to find a use for it. A perfect example is Gorilla Glass. We all know that it is used on the iPhone, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that it was invented in the 1960’s and practically nobody used it until Apple saw the patent and thought it could be used in their mobile phones. This scenario is very common – a company designs a new material but they don’t know how to implement it.

      • evets

        Well sticking four legs to it and making it into a table is quite obvious isn’t it? Without them coming to him and offering him some material to experiment with, he couldn’t have done the table. That’s it.

        • Rob

          Most design studios do research and approach materials companies when they find a material that they want to use – it would be unlikely that the timber company approached Hubert, and far more likely that Hubert wanted to make a light timber table and did research into available technologies and materials.

      • Nb76

        Gorilla Glass was a disaster when apple put it on the back of the iPhone 4 – it’s about as durable as… glass!

  • The thin corners will be the first to break.

    • me – myself – i

      Seen a similar table some time ago by a furniture maker from The Hague Holland called ‘Light Table’, see: http://www.tiddoderuiter.nl/nl/werk.html … same principles, less attention.

  • uary

    You are obviously a Benjamin Hubert fan. But from an objective point of view these tables do not have much more in common than any other two tables have. Benjamin’s table is also nice and I think one light table does not need to feel so threatened by another light table.

  • les.humanoides

    Didn’t know Dexter is now a furniture designer.

  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    Apple didn’t discover or realise anything. Corning did. It’s their product and they pitched it to a bunch of phone manufacturers (and OEMs like Foxconn).

    Apple stole a good product (like the Nokia N8) and made it user friendly by taking out features and dumbing it down, then claiming they invented it. They convinced people it was true through marketing.

  • citywide

    Much ado about nothing. 4.5 kilo or 14.5, big deal. Who cares how much a table weights, only the throw away world of IKEA.

  • James

    What’s the point?