Conference tables constitute a fairly diverse group, composed of large, multifunctional dining tables and executive desks that are suited for smaller meetings, as well as specialist, modular furniture developed for large conferences.
Tables, such as the round ‘LC15 Table de conférence’, designed in 1958 by Le Corbusier and now manufactured by Cassina, where the wooden table top is mounted on a steel lattice base; or Jean Prouvé’s seminal, 1950 ‘EM Table’ produced by Vitra, whose elegant, slanting steel legs nonetheless rigorously follow constructional principles; are suited to smaller, executive meetings. In a similar vein, Oskar Zieta’s 2012 ‘Nogi’, a lightweight steel base which will hold up any table surface, be it glass or different types of wood, is well suited to these meetings as well.
Another daring piece is the almost-all-glass ‘Stilt Glass’ conference table by Decoma Design for Desalto, which features an extension mechanism to seat more people when needed. Ruud Ekstrand’s vaguely elliptical, elegant ‘Disc’ conference table for Skandiform is a modular table, which can be ordered in varying lengths, similar to architect Norman Foster’s ‘Nomos’ table for TECNO, an exercise in his signature cool, hi-tech detailing.
When the table becomes too wide, it tends to have a central void, such as the round ‘Mehes conference table’ designed for Ahrend by Friso Kramer, or the elliptical ‘Epure Desk system’ by Emmanuel Dietrich for Haworth. An advantage of this system is that cables can be led through the void, instead of being an obstruction.
This principle can be applied to modular tables as well, such as the sleek, EOOS-designed ‘Filo | Table’ for Bene, which can be arranged into U-shapes or various rectangles and provides necessary space for 12 or 16 people, or even more, depending on the size of the room. The same principle applies to the modular ‘2000-Serie’ conference table, designed by Rud Thygesen and Johnny Sørensen for Magnus Olesen. This design features semi-circular, rectangular, square and quadrant-shaped sections materialised wholly in wood, resulting in a typically Scandinavian, sober, democratic design.