Origami-inspired table concept folds into a lamp to save space

Tables are important pieces of furniture in any human space, whether it’s the dining table at home or a meeting table at the office. That said, we don’t always use these flat horizontal surfaces all the time, and there will be times when they’re just taking up precious space. Yes, more aesthetic tables do provide some visual value, but it doesn’t outweigh the cost of their presence. Foldable tables are practical, but few actually look good even when unfolded and the hassle of moving the folded table out of the way makes them less compelling. But what if you didn’t need to put the table away because it not only becomes more compact but also serves a different purpose? That’s the kind of multi-functional design that this concept proposes, turning a table into a lamp.

Designer: Sonakshi Gupta

The Japanese art of folding paper has inspired many designs because of its beauty, simplicity, and space efficiency. A large and flat sheet of paper can suddenly become a geometric flower or swan with a few folds, significantly reducing the area that the piece of paper once occupied. This art doesn’t involve removing or adding parts, which makes each piece an independent and standalone unit.

LightUP is a concept that takes inspiration from origami and kirigami (which does involve cutting away and gluing pieces together) to design a table that not only saves space but also provides a completely different functionality or two. The squarish wooden tabletop folds up into a shape that’s like a flower bud, freeing up the space around the table for use. Thanks to ingenious invisible hinges, not only do you have a clean and flat table surface but moving only one or two corners is enough to fold and unfold the table. The easier you can perform this action, the more frequently you’re willing to do it.

Of course, that’s not where it all ends. The design’s name comes from the fact that wide LED light strips from the pyramidal base of the table to each of the four corners. Thus, the table becomes a room-wide lamp at night but can also remain as a space-saving art object when the lights are off.

Admittedly, the design’s implementation is actually more complicated than it looks thanks to the moving parts and hinges involved. Those may become points of failure over time due to wear and tear. The idea, however, could give birth to a simpler design, one that takes into account aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability altogether for a truly space-saving piece of furniture.