What I’ve Got: The Fletcher Capstan Table

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I still remember the first time I saw this gif on the internet: 

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I have the softest of soft spots for flexible furniture, so it should come as no surprise that this was one of the finest pieces of design I had ever seen. The engineered machinations on the inside of the table that make it possible to be large and small toe the line between reality and magic in a way that only truly great mechanical design can. It is no easy functional design problem to obtain this result — the Fletcher website has videos of the inner workings of the table to make this clear. And yet the sleekness and elegance of the outside give none of this away, and make it such that without knowing in advance, one would never suspect that this table has two different modes of operation. It is a monumental shift over the slide out panels that are often used in tables, and it explores a completely new frontier of expanding circular tables, a pain that most people have experienced at some point.

Every time I see the table expand I am surprised. I know what is coming, but it is always somehow still so incredibly cool. In the spirit of the Friheten Ikea chair that I posted about earlier in the semester, this is a true masterpiece of aesthetic and functional design. While the price point makes it hard to imagine ever actually owning one, I would be happy to just see and play with one in person at some point.

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