A Shelf of Tables is three desks
in one shelving unit

| 1 comment
 

Design graduate Matej Chabera presented a shelving system that comprises three interchangeable desktops at the Royal College of Art (RCA) show, which opened in London on Monday.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera_dezeen_sq

Shelf of Tables stacks three desktops within a shelving system with the footprint of a single desk. Any one of the shelves can be moved to desk height and accessed from a normal chair, enabling the user to move between tasks without having to tidy away work in progress related to one task and unpack items related to the next.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

Chabera came up with the idea while organising his own workspace during his course at the RCA.Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

"Working on multiple projects in a confined space makes it really difficult to organise the work and to organise the mind,” he told Dezeen.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

"It is an essential advantage to be able to leave projects open and pick up where you left off. Putting things away into storage slows you down. Having the visual parallel of the desktop makes the change of focus much easier."

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

As well as allowing one person to switch between types of work, it also enables multiple people to share a desk – either in co-working spaces or busy family homes – and all leave their desk as they'd like to come back to it.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

The solid ash and plywood desk system uses standard ball-bearing runners and operates on the principles of a counter-weight and constant friction.

The counterweight can be adjusted in three steps allowing a range of comfortable writing desk set-ups. Forward stability is ensured by a substantial counterweight at the rear.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

"I chose ash because it is a very precise strong wood that keeps its shape and has a lovely texture. It makes the Shelf of Tables feel warm and pleasant to touch," said the designer. "I often find office furniture technical and intimidating and solid wood is the perfect antidote to that."

Veneered plywood is used for the desktops on the prototype, but Chabera says future finishes could include laminates, glass or materials like Corian.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

The Shelf of Tables is 1,000 by 1,500 by 600 millimetres, and its dimensions make it accessible for wheel-chair users, something Chabera discovered and developed further during his 1:1 prototyping.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

"This is the benefit of working 1:1 and testing in real materials, you discover things and the objects talk back much more than a render or a scale model does," he said.

More shelving:

  • Bookbinder Shelf and bedroom furniture by Florian Hauswirth
  • Set expanding shelving by Stephanie Hornig
  • Stacked Objects by Emiel Remmelts

Here's some information about the project from Matej Chabera:


Shelf of tables

A kinetic object that innovatively blends storage and desk space into one simple object. It essentially fits three desks into the floorspace of one where each one can be easily accessed at table height using any normal chair.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

By doing so it enables more subjects to be left in progress without the need to put them away. Changing focus from subject to subject becomes easy, fluent and immediate.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

To achieve fluent movement it uses standard ball-bearing runners and operates on the principles of counter-weight and constant friction. The counterweight can be adjusted in three steps allowing a range of comfortable motion for most writing desk situations. If overloaded then it turns into a static shelving unit. Forward stability is ensured by the substantial counterweight being at the rear.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

The extra benefit of this solution is that it allows wheelchair users to access an entire shelving system from one place safely and with ease.

Shelf of Tables by Matej Chabera

1000 x 1500 x 600 mm
solid ash, solid steel, plywood, fittings

  • khrn

    I can see one major problem with this design. People will want to lean on the desk and it is unlikely that the slide-out mechanism can support much in the way of weight – the further out you pull the desk the less support you have, and the more movement is applied at the point of contact with the user. It needs some kind of support.