Russian Science Fiction: Woodtable by Yakovleva

In futuristic movies, nothing can have a straight line. Pods gently curve where walls meet with ceilings—more often that not, everything becomes a giant bubble. If you had grown up watching only science fiction films, then you would undoubtedly believe that round is the shape of the future. Someone at some time (long, long ago) decided it was so—and nobody has done much to break this right-angle-less vision. So Tanya Yakovleva’s Woodtable strikes me as rather in the vein of this fanciful genre.

Woodtable. Designed by Yakovleva.

A large capsule made of wood, Woodtable could have walked off any number of Hollywood set pieces, including the new Sam Rockwell venue, Moon. That the table comes from the mind of a Russian designer who hails from Ufa also adds to the millennial mystique. The sled base makes Woodtable appear mobile, which is another sci-fi trope: the sentient object (mostly it’s been computers, but you get my drift).


While the two tubular pieces halve the Woodtable in perfect symmetry, the openings remain off kilter. Woodtable’s hinged top is divided unequally, creating one small and one large compartment—a tribute to asymmetry. If this is mysterious, then fear not: Woodtable’s open sides give the table unexpected transparency. Not everyone will appreciate this, since the coffin-shaped table would indeed make a great catchall when uninvited guests come to call. The absent sides, however, keep Woodtable from being effective at secreting anything. In some ways, Woodtable acts like a display case—and perhaps we should treat it as such. Keep one side open to display medical curiosities; keep the other side open to display Limoges boxes. You could choose whatever you’d like to exhibit, promoting that side (and that side only) of your inner psyche.

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