The World’s Longest Table for All Cultures

UN Studio, the architecture practice headquartered in Amsterdam, recently introduced the World’s Longest Table for All Cultures at the IMM Cologne Furniture Fair 2008, held this past January. The table’s long name matches its dimensions. At 55 meters long (more than 180 feet) and 2.6 meters wide (more than 8.5 feet), the World’s Longest Table for All Cultures (henceforth World’s Table) is, without a doubt, the world’s longest table indeed. [via Yanko Design]

The World’s Longest Table for All Cultures. Designed by UN Studio.

Designed on a modular basis, the World’s Table is intended for multiple configurations. It can be made shorter (or longer) in order to accommodate a variety of group sizes. UN Studio explains that the World’s Table is “a place for different types of activities, from intimate and secluded to formal meetings for bigger groups.” The intricate system lends the World’s Table prismatic functions: flat surfaces invite working, meeting, and dining, while angled compartments allow for many other activities-sketching, sitting, you name it. It can act as a hub for a business company, akin to the kitchen at a dinner party: a place where everyone congregates, in pockets, niches, clusters, and leagues. As the networking and multi-tasking center for a corporation, the World’s Table offers an elegant alternative to that horrid invention of the 1960s: the cubicle.

The World’s Longest Table for All Cultures

As such, the World’s Table has the power to transform the way people do business; it gives work a new style-one that is fluid and multi-dimensional, one that allows for differentiation and innovation. And it is this feature that makes it, as advertised, the table for all cultures, because the World’s Table welcomes varied approaches to meeting, thinking, and interacting. Its multi-purpose elements echo cross-cultural approaches. Sleek enough to grace the Taipei 101 skyscraper, yet unassuming enough to transform cubicle farms everywhere, the World’s Table deserves to be considered a transformational innovation as opposed to a faddish novelty. While the buzz surrounding the World’s Table is already questioning its design integrity, this is far from the truth: haven’t daring shifts always been challenged? While businesses may struggle to adopt UN Studio‘s pioneering table, they should pause to consider the philosophy behind its creation. The World’s Longest Table for All Cultures has the possibility to radically transform the way we do business. Perhaps its heterogeneity is a reflection of globalization. The question now is whether it will be embraced as such.

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