Benjamin Hubert's lightweight Ripple table
is now strong enough to stand on


British designer Benjamin Hubert has developed a more stable version of his lightweight Ripple table, which features on the shortlist for Designs of the Year 2014 (+ slideshow).

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

Hubert launched the original Ripple table during last year's London Design Festival to demonstrate the structural capabilities of a lightweight laminated plywood material called Corelam.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

The nine kilogram product was described as the world's lightest table, but attracted criticism from Dezeen readers who wondered whether it was robust enough for practical use.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

"I can't imagine this is very sturdy - at 2.5 metres long it looks and feels too flimsy," said one reader, while another suggested: "You should prove stability, not lightness."

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

In reaction to doubts over the product's practicality, Hubert and his team performed a series of strength and stability tests before overhauling the design to improve its structural properties. It is now strong enough to hold the weight of a person.

"I think it's important to make products that really work," Hubert told Dezeen. "A concept always needs to be proven, and we enjoy healthy criticism as it pushes us to go further."

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

The updated version features a curve across the underside of the table surface that increases its tensile strength, as well as a new leg design with a triangulated cross section.

A brace attaching the legs to the tabletop is also made from Corelam. This has been pressed to produce an undulating profile that creates a transition between the corrugated surface and the flat area to which the legs are fixed.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

Up to ten people people can be seated around the 2.5 by 1 metre table, which uses 80 percent less material than a standard timber table and still weighs just 10.5 kilograms

In direct response to comments suggesting that the original table should have been shown with someone standing on it to demonstrate its strength, Hubert has done just that with the new version.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

The Ripple table is on show as part of the Designs of the Year exhibition at London's Design Museum, which opens today and runs until 25 August.

Here's a press release from Benjamin Hubert:

Ripple 2.0
Held by 1. Holds 1. Seats 10.

Ahead of the Design Museum's Designs of the Year 2014, Benjamin Hubert Ltd has launched the production-ready version of the nominated Ripple table, which is now also available for purchase through Benjamin Hubert Ltd. The table can still be assembled and manoeuvred by a single person but can now easily support the equivalent of a person’s weight, further demonstrating the properties of the lightweight construction.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

Following a series of rigorous strength and stability tests undertaken by the studio, the underside of the table's surface now curves gently across its length and width, adding tensile strength to the structure. The improved leg design now employs a hollow triangular profile that offers increased strength and rigidity in two directions. The brace between the legs has a curved cross section to increase the strength of the connection between the leg and the table surface. As the corrugated plywood meets the legs, it gradually transitions to a flat surface, providing a smooth intersection.

Ripple uses 80% less material than a standard timber table, and at 2.5 metres long and 1 metre wide, it now offers ample space for ten place sittings. 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 Ltd in collaboration with Canadian manufacturer Corelam.

Ripple Table 2.0 by Benjamin Hubert

Ripple is made entirely from 3 ply 0.8mm sitka spruce, a timber sourced only in Canada, where the table is manufactured. The engineered timber was also 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 a unique lamination process means the edge of Ripple measures just 3.5mm.

Ripple was designed as part of an internal studio research project into lightweight constructions, and was first launched at Aram Store during London Design Festival last year. Ripple will be exhibited as part of the Design Museum's Designs of the Year 2014.

Material: Sitka Spruce 0.8mm aircraft plywood
Dimensions: L 2.5m x W 0.95m x H 0.74m

  • john

    Designing a table to hold a persons weight should be prerequisite, while lightness in a table is a bit of a misnomer. Chairs move, tables rarely do.

    To make it into a really good product, it should be flat packed, as to be shipped in a large volume is not very efficient. A good example:

  • Boiling Soup

    What’s the ambition? Why does the table need to be so light? Any little push and the soup is bowling.

    • quinzark

      Transport of the table for trade shows, conferences etc.

  • joe

    The legs detach from the top – it’s a knockdown construction.

  • JD

    These comments miss the point. The table uses much less material than any other table of similar size, that’s why it’s impressive that it’s so light. Great project!

    • Romain_M

      When raising questions of streamlining production processes, one must take into account both time and individual steps to completion.

      Economies of scale wouldn’t hold if this lighter table were harder and longer to manufacture than any other heavy table.

      What you think you may be saving, material wise, may actually incur an extra expense on other factors.

      From that point on, ecological arguments fall apart : time costs energy.

  • Tzaar

    But why does lightness matter in this case? If it is an argument about “sustainability” then I would bet the adhesives and machine time required to make this table far exceed those required for a typical plank construction. Furthermore, because it’s wood this thing should be as heavy as possible to form a sort of carbon sink.

    Let’s just like that it is a nice looking table. Lightness here is just a headline grabber. Convince me otherwise!

    • Corpho

      Lightness matters to people like my upstairs neighbour, who pushes his furniture around all the time. Brrrrrrrpt! Grrrrrrrrrrrt! Frrrrrrrrrrrrrop! (Or whatever the onomatopoeia is for wood scraping against wood.)

    • Anna

      I appreciate your intent, but wood rots when it is eventually disposed of and releases most of it’s carbon content back into the atmosphere, trees are part of the current carbon cycle.

      Fossil fuels are part of the ancient carbon cycle that was partially removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago, that we in our infinite wisdom are now digging up and adding to the existing carbon cycle faster than it can be sucked back into the earth.

      We need to stop burning coal, not build heavy tables.

  • Guest

    I’d like to point out that this corrugated plywood was a technique created by Emily Carr and Professor Christian Blyte almost ten years ago as a thesis project at Aalto university.This was not a new material developed for this project.

  • H-J

    The connection from leg to table top is way more elegant than in the previous version.

  • bim

    It looks like a keyshot render with the person pasted in the picture. Is it real?

  • bim

    Look at the chairs in the last image. They are completely in line with perspective.

  • no

    Looks like he took some advice, maybe from him:

    Either way, I agree with most of the comments here:

    Such a table doesn’t make sense to me. Going after less material and trying to make it lighter for transport seems like good goals to go after. At a certain point there’s a mark where it takes out the sense of the object.

    • Jamie

      Hubert’s table came before Beckers’. So I think it’s the other way round!

  • Steve

    Of the 10.5 kg how much is glue?

  • yes

    A beautifully smart product. Some of the criticism here is way off the mark. Go to the Design Museum and take a look I guess!

    • Romain_M

      Success in design isn’t making it into a permanent collection, it’s making it into your grandma’s living room.

      Would you deem the works of Memphis “successful design”? Their pieces are collected the world over, but are awfully impractical.

      This table is a thought exercise, wonderfully executed and extremely elegant. It shouldn’t try to present itself as anything else.

  • Dutch and jealous

    My English is lacking here: does the part of the legs that touches the corrugated section cut through the corrugated section or is fixed on top of it? I understand that it cuts through it. If so, why? Doesn’t that decrease the strength of the table top?

    All together a very elegant and ingenious design. Less material needed for the same strength, less transport costs, easy to move (especially handy in conference room/working room situations), honest and smart use of material without being loud.

    I can see the benefits of the material used in other furniture designs.

  • oohl

    This table I want. But I also want to know where her dress came from.