Team Table: Sacred Light
40 in. x 18 in. x 18in.
birch plywood, lightbulbs
3 students picked at random would be given
2 weeks to create
1 table from
3 separate and unique parts
Each student was charged with creating a self-supporting part that would join with others to create a single cohesive table. We were interested in how light could influence the form and atmosphere of a space. In particular we wanted to explore the properties of light and shadow in creating a sense of wonder and calmness.
We drew inspiration from ancient Chinese temples, which relied solely on mechanical joints with no glue or fasteners, allowing the wood to expand and contract naturally. In our research, emphasis was placed on how light was directed, reflected, and diffused through paper, shutter systems, and architectural elements throughout an enclosed area.
We came up with a structure of interlocking staggered slats that support and reinforce one another as they are built up and outward. A hidden hollow mortise and tenon design provided a seamless connection that allowed the same light that projected out of the "lantern top" side tables to flow freely downward through the central pillar.
Throughout the project we learned crucial lessons on collaboration such as the value of conceptualizing, creating, and problem solving as a group, especially in the context of a tight deadline and limited tools/resources.