• 01.27.12

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).

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.