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Imagine Table - Reimagine Nomos Desking System 

Norman Foster Foundation-Imaging Future Workshop , 2020

[01] Abstraction


Do we need a table in the future? In the past, the main task of the table was separated valuable objects from the ground and keeping them safe. Egyptians were the first civilization that used the table. In their drawings, we can see how the table functions as a separation between the valuable (the things we wanted to show) and the neccesary (the things we want to hide). The table is a physical line that dividies two worlds of meaning. We refered Leonardo’s painting “The last supper” and found a stratification of elements related to our previous division. Underneath are the feet of the apostles, the legs of the table, the foldings of the blanket... We could imagine a whole world of objects to add over the table. 

[02] Speculation

Once we settled the structure of functions related to its horizontal plane, can we eliminate the line that holds them together? Foster’s design does this in a material way, making the board transparent so you can see what is underneath. The structure, the neccesary, what gives the table its functionality is under the skin, the bones, the mechanism, the organism. From the top view, all the functions are overlayed. It’s an enviroment that can grow connections among all the objects that live in. The organized structure is collapsed. And then, the only thing that we need to do to collapse the system is remove the skin. The physical barrier is no longer there to hold the layers, so they merge into a cloud of functions and structure. The structure should leave its static form and embrace the movement, it has to evolve into a organism that can adapt and respond to every possibility in the future. The table then loses its objectual condition and becomes something more, something alive.

[03] Rethinking

The basis of this organism has to be the same that the one in Foster’s design: the spine. The initial spine is rigid and well designed, our one has to be fliud and speculative. As Leonardo, we studied the anatomy of the bones that nature has already drawn for us. A redefined set of three dimensional vertebras of different species of animals that have developed survival skills and adapted to its habitat will be the new structure for our living artifact. A spine designed from the nature. One that can change to receive new functions developed in the future. An artificial enviroment that it’s a cloud of functions itself.

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