Kleinergleich5: The world’s lightest wooden table

Uber Light Table Weighs Less Than 4.5 Kilograms

German Designer Ruben Beckers is the creator of what is the currently uncontested, lightest wooden table in the world. Named Kleinergleich5, which translates as less than or equal to five, he created the table during a project called Wood-Transformation at the school of Arts in Kassel, Germany. His aim was to construct a piece of ultra lightweight furniture by using only standard materials and standard techniques, whilst giving special attention to design.

The result is this nifty table, weighing at only 4.5 kilograms, which can be lifted off the ground with a pinky finger! Its dimensions are 163cm x 74cm and its legs are removable. It can easily hold 30 kg in weight. A wooden latticework beneath the table’s surface contributes to its lightness and adds to its durability.

Ruben admits to not being sure about the maximum weight the table can hold. ‘One has to be careful in using it’ he declares. ‘You could compare the usability to a camping table.’

The Plus: What are the most important elements to you, in terms of industry design/product design?
Ruben Beckers:
For me one of the most important elements in product design is honesty. An honest product is defined through its use and its material. I don`t like products trying to make me think they could save the world. If they could, it would be great.
A chair is just a chair. But a chair can be a very good one, by being honest, by being comfortable to sit on, by lasting long, by being specified and clear in its material.

TP: What’s the biggest challenge during the design process?
The most challenging thing in the design process is to formulate the task. To get a clear view about what you are designing for. In other words: to figure out a clear aim and not to loose it during the process.
For example in the process of designing kleinergleich5 my aim was to build it as light as possible. If my aim were different, maybe to make it able to take 10 people standing on it, kleinergleich5 would be a totally different table, and also, wouldn’t be named kleinergleich5.

TP: What’s next? Is there anything exciting happening?
RB: In late 2014 an encyclopaedia of materials for designers is being released, which kleinergleich5 will be featured in. I’m working on several projects at the moment and I’ve got a few on my mind.