A table is a table, right? Unless it’s a flexible, self-stabilising folding table that you can set up single-handedly.
31 March, 2017
Flexibility has never been more important in the workplace. A single space may need to host a seminar or a festive lunch, or be completely cleared of furniture for a special event – perhaps all in one day. But not all flexible furniture pieces are designed equal.
The folding table is a versatile typology and an obvious choice for the flexible workspace. “You can’t beat the square metres that you can stack into a certain volume with a folding table,” says Milan-based German designer Andreas Störiko. “You could stack something like 20 square metres of tables into your Volvo if you wanted to!”
Störiko is a long-term collaborator with Wilkhahn. He created the timeless Confair and Timetable folding tables for the brand, so he knows a thing or two about saving space – and the mechanics that allow it to happen efficiently. And that’s a key point when it comes to flexible furniture; the longer it takes to reshape a space, the higher facility management costs will be.
Störiko’s new mAx folding table system for Willkhahn breaks new ground in terms of being incredibly people friendly. mAx features an intuitive self-stabilising folding mechanism that one can, literally, handle single-handedly.
The base consists of two T-shaped legs that conveniently keep the corner zones uncluttered. When a leg is unfolded, a support arm automatically emerges from within the leg and latches into a recess underneath the tabletop. A guide rail locks the support arm in place. To collapse the table, a small amount of pressure is applied (with just one hand) to a niche in the support arm to push it back into the leg and to fold in the base. A locking system prevents the frames from folding in or out unintentionally.
Wear and tear will inevitably come with continued use, but the mechanisms of mAx have been engineered to maintain performance. The surface of the guide rail is angled so even as the support arm becomes worn down over the years, it will always lock snugly into place. “The connection will always be under pressure,” Störiko explains, “so when it’s closed, there will never be any play between the parts. That’s the secret of the stiffness and precision of this table.”
The flexibility of mAx extends beyond the array of possible finishing options and sizes; integrated linkage options can turn mAx into a system with tables joined in rows or groups. “I can see mAx as a conference table, a dining table, a work table, even a boardroom table,” says Störiko.
But one of the leading features of mAx, according to Störiko, is that: “It does not have that folding table feeling. For me, technology should not be something you deal with – it should be intuitive.” Sounds ideal for the people who keep today’s flexible workspaces on the move. Look out for the market launch of mAx in Q2 of 2017.
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