You Want Smarter, More Collaborative Students? First, Fix The Tables

With modular components, Studio Makkink & Bey creates work surfaces that encourage group projects.

Everyone lauds the benefits of collaboration, and yet students usually sit apart from one another, stuck behind their individual desks. The Dutch designers Rianne Makkink & Jurgen Bey have updated the classic trestle table into a flexible system that stretches to accommodate group projects.

One or two trestle desks can be combined with a larger tabletop to form an elongated work surface. The longest table can also be used as a vertical or horizontal easel, with the metal ridge used for joining the tables together doubling as a utensil holder. The extension pieces, made from high-pressure laminate, can be folded and stacked into a colourful display when not in use.

Brilliant—and just the thing to help foster early collaboration—but sadly not yet a reality. Makkink and Bey are still looking for a manufacturer. Email them at studio @ (no spaces).

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  • Courtney Remm

    I third the theory that this *would* make a pretty fantastic beer pong table.

  • Montesaic™

    Love it!  I work with underserved, at-risk kids and teach collaboration.  In art, poetry/writing, building on one another's story or having a child create one sentence of a poem and the next child creates the next and so on.  It's amazing what one launched thought from a exploring mind can discover!  I would love to use these in my work with kids.  The tables would also serve as presentation easels for them to share with their friends.  Colours are wonderful too!  The stackability factor is fantastic.  I need a multi-use space and these could be cleared out for creative movement portion of our workshops.

  • Goodidea

    I felt that need as a student. Nobody else really cared. And no doubt students will do awful things if you give them modular parts that might break or whatnot. I mean, students can manage to destroy the ONE PIECE desks they have now. It is a great idea but i think it disregards the fact that students will ravage it.

  • Jake Wells

    Ha! I'm not the only one! Before reading, at first glance I thought to myself . . . "weird an article about designing Beer Pong tables"