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The Earthquake Proof Desk by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno

I don’t know if it’s still standard protocol to send students scurrying under their desks in the event of an emergency, but I do know that the notion hasn’t made much sense until now. The idea that a desk could be a sanctuary from events as onerous as even nuclear war was once somewhat laughable, but now it’s a full-fledged reality, thanks to the impressive Earthquake Proof Desk.

Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.

The Earthquake Proof Desk Withstands Up To One Ton of Weight

Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.

Designed by Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design students Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno, the Earthquake Proof Desk is geared towards high performance in the event of full-scale catastrophe: “a wooden desk isn’t going to withstand the crushing weight from large chunks of concrete or steel… but the ‘earthquake-proof’ desk can absorb the impact of up to a ton of weight and even provide emergency routes for rescue crews to reach trapped students.

Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.
Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.

Brutter and Bruno’s design doesn’t just support weight falling from above, since that degree of performance would result in an extraordinarily cumbersome desk—too heavy for students and teachers to move, in fact. Thus in mind of a desk’s day-to-day use, the duo kept the weight down by creating inherent “crush zones” on each corner: “these distribute the brunt of an impact to the edges, rather than the middle.” The result is a specific pattern of destruction that keeps the desks standing while creating potential escape routes or conduits for rescue workers to reach trapped students.

Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.

Brutter and Bruno recently presented their Earthquake Proof desk as an entry in Bezalel’s Design Bonanza exhibit in Milan, Italy.

Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.
Earthquake Proof Desk. Designed and Manufactured by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.

About the Designers: Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design students Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno conceived of their Earthquake Proof Desk as the truth to the old saw about school children seeking sanctuary under their desks in the event of an emergency. The Earthquake Proof Desk withstands up to one ton of weight. Furthermore, it’s designed to break under weight in a way that protects students while also providing an escape route from rubble. Currently, Brutter and Bruno are awaiting a patent and approval from Padua University so they can begin distributing their desks to disaster-prone areas.

Posted May 3rd, 2012 by Joseph Starr


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