Nesting tables are akin to Russian dolls; designed in series, the smaller tables can be stowed under the larger ones when they are not in use, and, together, they can be used to create functional and aesthetically pleasing compositions. Even though the product group is quite compact, there is still plenty to choose from.
Marcel Breuer, architect, designer and teacher at the Bauhaus, designed the classic modernist ‘B 9 a-d’ nesting tables in 1925. Combining tubular steel and a wooden tabletop, these are equally well-suited to be a series of side tables, while the larger models can be used as a stool. A variation of this design, the 1933 ‘B72 a | b’ cantilevers the table top to match the prevailing fashion of its time. Today, both are produced by Thonet.
Charlotte Perriand’s 1951, Cassina-produced ‘519 Petalo’ brings an organic petal shape and bright colours to the forefront. Grete Jalk bends plywood for her 1963 ‘GJ Table’ made by Lange Production, architect Frank Gehry uses laminated cardboard for his robust, 1972 ‘Low Table set’ for Vitra, and M.U. designed a series of fully glazed nesting tables, called ‘Trio’, which were launched in 1988 by Tonelli.
‘381 Torei’, designed by Luca Nichetto for Cassina and introduced in 2012, and Minimal Design’s ‘Encore’ for Arco, launched in 2007, resemble long benches; while Mathieu Matégot’s 1950s ‘Kangourou’ defies common sense. In this design, now manufactured by GUBI, the small circular table is slightly taller and fits snugly in a round void in its more expansive, lower, elliptical counterpart.