Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

Andrew Cheng designs Chopsticks side tables with skinny legs

London Design Festival 2014: the legs of these small tables by Taiwan designer Andrew Cheng measure just 1.2 centimetres in diameter.

Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

While designing the Chopsticks tables, San Francisco-based Andrew Cheng set himself the challenge of designing a table with the slimmest hardwood legs possible.

Incorporating techniques he has learnt over years of working with wood and metal, the result is a table with beech wood legs strengthened by a steel rod at their core.

Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

The legs are made in a similar way to graphite pencils – the wooden part is made in two halves and then placed around the steel. "The idea was to design a table with legs so thin that people would wonder if it's actually useable," Cheng told Dezeen.

"I chose to work with beech wood because it is hard and dense, and has fine vessels evenly distributed throughout the wood, which makes it sturdy but also very easy to machine. I wanted to make the legs the focus of the design, so I kept everything else as basic and simple as possible."

Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

It was only after he had designed the collection that Cheng noticed the resemblance to chopsticks, which led to the half-lacquered finish on the legs that matches the thin circular tops.

"When looking the tables from above, the legs appeared to be chopsticks, the utensils I used the most growing up," he said. "Chopsticks usually have different coloured ends to indicate different users. Whenever the family bought a new set, the kids got to choose theirs first, and somehow I usually ended up taking the red and white sets, so that's the colour palette I chose for the tables."

Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

The tables were launched during Milan design week in April and will be shown again in London this September.

"In Milan, people were either challenging the table by pushing on it or looking at the legs and wondered how they are made," said Cheng. "That's the same response I hope to get this time at Tent because those interactions fully captured the idea."

Chopsticks by Andrew Cheng

Chopsticks will have their UK launch at Tent London, taking place from 18 to 21 September at the Old Truman Brewery during London Design Festival.