Schemata Architects designs lightweight table that doubles as a room partition

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Japanese studio Schemata Architects has designed a lightweight table that can also be used as a room divider, which it claims is "so light that a woman can easily carry it by herself" (+ slideshow).

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Designed for the shop at the 21 21 Design Sight museum in Tokyo, the Sponge table comes in two parts – the lightweight tabletop and a set of removable wooden legs.

Sponge Table by Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects in Tokyo, Japan

To make the piece as light as possible, Schemata Architects created the tabletop from a layer of sponge sandwiched between thin wood veneers – one side is natural wood, while the other side has a white finish. It weighs just 8.8 kilograms.



"The table is so light that a woman can easily carry it by herself," said the architects. "In addition, it is easily collapsible and portable, serving as an efficient tool to fully utilise the space."

Sponge Table by Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects in Tokyo, Japan

To transform the Sponge table into a room partition, the lightweight surface is simply lifted off its supporting wooden legs and placed upright onto two blocky stands.

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Schemata Architects was founded in 1998 by Jo Nagasaka.

The studio has completed numerous interior and furniture design projects, including a collection of spongy seats inspired by erotic bondage techniques, a Tokyo rice shop filled with boxy plywood fittings and an artist's studio with an indoor garden.

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Schemata is by no means the first studio to experiment with lightweight furniture. Other designers who have developed easy-to-carry tables include Benjamin Hubert, whose design weighs in at just nine kilograms.

But German designer Ruben Beckers managed to get his kleinergleich5 table down to just 4.5 kilograms by using a grid of thin wooden strips.

Photography is by Takumi Ota.

  • SteveLeo

    “So light that a woman can easily carry it by herself” and so simplistic a man could design it all by himself…

  • Brogan

    “So light that a woman can easily carry it by herself”? That’s a very forward-thinking product positioning statement…

  • Niamh Josephine Hunter

    Thank God! I’ve been struggling with those normal-weight tables and my puny woman arms.

  • Delbert Grady

    Shouldn’t the table base double as the wall panel base? Missed opportunity.

  • Keith Garrett

    “Need to turn these into panels. Do you know where the box is with the feet?”

  • Doubtful Dodger

    I’m rarely shocked but that quote has actually shocked me.

  • Ruta

    Can we see an explanation of what the hell these backwards designers were thinking with such ‘statements’? And what was Dezeen thinking publishing them?

  • GDavies

    Errrm. Did they mean to be offensive here?!

  • Press Schemata

    Hello all, this is PR manager of Schemata Architects. We’ve e-mailed Dezeen editorial team to amend the text as “one person can easy carry”. We appreciate your comments and are sorry for the lack of sensitivity. Thank you for understanding. Hope you enjoy the design.