Terrazzo side table concept seems to tempt fate and defy the laws of physics

Tables come in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of the design, they all need to have a single critical trait: they have to be stable. No matter how breathtaking a table might be, it is nothing but a piece of art if it comes crashing down under the lightest of weights. Stability can be achieved through many means, but for something like a coffee table or even a side table, that mostly means having a flat surface that doesn’t wobble or, more importantly, doesn’t tip over. That’s the behavior that people have come to expect from even the most beautiful table, which is why this side table concept is striking both for its elegant looks as well as its rather worrying composition that precariously balances the tabletop on a curved surface, or at least it would seem like it.

Designer: Stuart Cole

Objects that boggle the mind and seem to defy the laws of physics have always been a fascination for us, which is probably why balancing toys or levitating speakers have always been popular products. That, however, doesn’t apply to furniture, especially ones that we expect to be stable or fixed. Seeing a table that’s about to topple over is enough to give some people a heart attack, but fortunately, that’s not the case for the aptly named “Balance” side table design concept.

The table’s form is actually pretty simple, utilizing basic geometrical shapes like a disc and cups. It’s the tension between these shapes, however, that gives Balance its dynamic and rather unstable appearance. It’s almost as if the circular tabletop would topple and fall off the upside-down bowl shape of its base, or that the cup would similarly fall over the edge and break. Of course, it’s all just an illusion because all three parts are joined using interlocking mechanisms that prevent them from falling apart, at least not without much effort.

Balance’s appeal doesn’t stop at its eye-catching shape. Its unique appearance is due not only to the use of terrazzo but also from employing recycled materials. This gives the side table not only a distinctive visual character but also a sustainable narrative that will surely be a topic of conversation for envious visitors. You might even be tempted to use it as a coffee or center table, rather than just leaving it off to the side, though that temptation might also be tempered by unfounded worries that the table will eventually become unbalanced and send your cups and books crashing down.