Standing table for collaboration unfolds into a picnic table for fun

Different tables have different uses depending on their design. A dining table needs to be low enough to accommodate comfortable seating, while a standing table encourages more dynamic conversations with the lack of chairs. In most cases, you have to choose the right type of table for the right purpose, but there might be instances where you wish a single one could fulfill multiple functions instead. There might be a constraint on spaces, or you might prefer a more agile and adaptable environment. Whatever the reason might be, this ingenious transforming table offers those two functions in one, providing a high table for standing meetings and a picnic table for four for more informal gatherings.

Designer: Bert Masselus

Designing a foldable table with built-in seats isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Compared to a regular table with separate chairs, such a piece of furniture would need to tackle different areas of concern all at once. Not only does it need to actually fold and unfold properly, it also needs to be stable and comfortable. There’s also the matter of visual appeal, which is even harder to pull off when considering a table that changes forms depending on the situation.

That’s the kind of feat that the JoinTable accomplishes with aplomb. Sporting an industrial aesthetic with its powder-coated stainless steel and aluminum construction, the transforming table offers an environment that can quickly adapt to the owners’ needs. On the one hand, it functions as a standing table that creates an atmosphere conducive to quick discussions and meetings. On the other hand, it can also be a place for more relaxed conversations, with friends or families lounging over meals. You could, of course, also have only one side of the table opened with the two seats, leaving the other side free for wood, work, or other things.

JoinTable is deceptively simple, belying its nontrivial mechanism and difficult manufacturing. The top of the standing table opens up in the middle and folds backward to reveal benches that can seat two people on each side. Even in this opened form, the table retains a stable center of gravity. The folding mechanism is also rigid enough to hold the seats in place and keep them from completely folding backward after a certain point.

This transforming table design is meant to be used both indoors and outdoors, creating areas for collaboration and enjoyment without taking up too much space. There is, however, also a design that is practically limited for indoor use, or at least in places with plenty of walls. This “two-seater” configuration consists of only half the JoinTable attached to a wall, offering a temporary space for working or enjoying a sip of coffee or both, whether by your lonesome self or with a partner.