Are the days of lugging around a clumsy folding table for picnics and card games over?
The owners of the Eindhoven, Netherlands-based Studio Toer hope so. Their Postable table, recently featured on Fastco Design, is a super-thin table that seats up to four, and is capable of folding down to fit inside an envelope.
Besides its portability, Studio Toer co-founder and designer Wouter Widdershoven believes part of the Postable's appeal is that it addresses the gap between the ease of shopping for furniture online and the difficulty of getting that furniture delivered. "Today's products are designed to sell themselves online," Widdershoven told Fastco Design. "However the delivery of these objects is not designed for today. It's still difficult to actually receive your ordered goods. You need to wait at home. If you miss the delivery, you still need to pick it up yourself somewhere." Because Postable can be sent in an envelope, it only costs $20 to ship worldwide.
The modular concept table is made from 1mm-thick sheets of stainless steel, which can be assembled into three available sizes. The price for convenience is relatively steep, with the 23-inch long table priced at $190, the mid-size for $480 and the 70-inch table $870. (The price doesn't take into account how much it might cost to outfit the table with portable chairs.) Studio Toer also makes no mention in its promotional video or on its website of how long the setup process for Postable actually takes, and company representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Other designers have looked into flat-pack furniture, ushering in products that are easier to ship and can serve multiple purposes. Some morph from tables to bookcases, while others change function based user preference.
Still, the innovative design for Postable may encourage other designers to rethink the portability of items traditionally seen as cumbersome. Ideally, those items would come at a lower price point. Or if you're really into table portability and fashion, there's always Pic Nic Pants, the pair of jeans with a built in "table" that allows you to eat off your crotch.