Schemata Architects designs lightweight table that doubles as a room partition
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).
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.