Furniture & Product

Designer: Hayon Studio

Manufacturer: Benchmark Furniture

Project facilitator: American Hardwood Export Council

Exhibition partner: The Design Museum

Wood supplier: James Latham

Species: American cherry

At the start of the pandemic, a group of nine international designers were asked to create a table and seat for their own homes from a choice of sustainable American hardwood. The pieces were made by Benchmark and exhibited at the Design Museum in London in September 2020. The twist being that, with lockdown in place, none of the designers would be able to visit the workshops. All communication would have to be done over digital platforms. Mesamachine (translated as ‘table machine’) is Jaime Hayon’s response to the brief. It is a space to host family and friends but also a space to work. Like a Swiss army knife, the table can be pushed, pulled, extended so that the function can be changed without having to move everything around. It is a pure piece of cabinet making made exclusively from wood. The American cherry is cut from one length, with the grain running through the satellite. The piece is a complex and ambitious multi-element build. The main table frame is made like a hollow torsion box, with tensioning ribs running along its length. Legs were turned from solid cherry and the various storage solutions and extending shelves involved an exacting degree of precision. A satellite table, two ‘Smile’ stools and a bench follow a similar design language. The piece is finished with a low VOC clear oil.