Shift Tables by Oato. Design Office

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“The Shift tables are laser-cut from a continuous rectangular sheet of 3mm steel. We strategically left small segments of a few millimeter connected so it becomes possible to fold the table into the desired shape merely by hand. The outcome is a playful setup, which was created by balancing the desired structural and visual effect.

We used CNC cutting to reach a level of precision that is impossible to do manually. The machine prepares the material in such a way that a human is able to fold it into shape in just a few minutes under specific angles, an action impossible for standard machines. To do so we used the assembly details and stops as guides so it hardly takes time to position the parts. Afterwards all the details are finished, or blend into the design so they’re merely visible.

The 3mm overlapping surfaces create a double triangle structure, making the table very stable and reducing the contact noise dramatically. The design is finished with a slightly textured mat white coating to give maximum expression to the shape with al the different angles and edges in various shades of white.

Shift is the result of a process trying to produce a product without large investments and quantities as a small studio. Even with very simple designs we were confronted with extra costs for setting up machines, we basically asked ourselves the questions: ‘Why can’t we just fold a 3mm sheet of metal like a piece of paper, so we don’t need machines to do it for us?’ Actually working around using just machines gave us the opportunity to do something very simple for a human, but complex for a standard machine, letting us reduce the cost even in small series, but increasing aesthetic by details only provided by the before mentioned approach.” Images courtesy of Oato. oato.nl

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