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Students design table following Thonet’s example

31-Jul-2019

PBSA table Thonet, Hochschule Düsseldorf

Photo: Thonet, Hochschule Düsseldorf

It is a classic in design history: the Thonet S 43 cantilever chair. As with all his furniture, designer Mart Stam placed value on a straight-lined form and aesthetic austerity in the construction when developing the S 43. In its design, he combined a tubular steel frame with moulded plywood shells for the seat and back, creating an absolute reduction. Now the S 43 has served as the source of inspiration for a design competition at Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences.

Students in the Design and Architecture Faculties were given two years to develop a new tubular steel seminar table based on the design of the S 43. During design seminars and competitions, they developed seminar tables for the different requirements in daily university life. Their task was to ensure that the new tables were in harmony with the look of the S 43. The brief also stipulated that they needed to provide practical features for a very flexible typical day at the university. The table needed to also work as a vertical presentation surface, to provide space for four to six people, be durable and easy to reconfigure and disassemble without tools.

PBSA table Thonet, Hochschule Düsseldorf

Photo: Thonet, Hochschule Düsseldorf

A jury formed of lecturers and representatives from Thonet chose Zohair Zouirech’s PBSA table as the winning design in the university’s internal competition. The design is named after the Peter Behrens School of Arts, under which the two faculties are joined. Zouirech, who also participated in the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2019 with the design for a tubular steel chair, spent over a year developing the PBSA seminar table. He was supported by Thonet, the Model-Making and Prototype Workshop of the Peter Behrens School of Arts, as well as its Laboratory for Form+Structure, and Bahsys GmbH. The grey tubular steel frames of the table are designed to tone with the colours of the frame of the S 43. The grey of the tabletop echoes the plywood parts that form the seat and backs of the seminar chairs. The PBSA seminar table is not available for sale and was produced exclusively for Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences.