Kickstarting: An 8-Way Coffee Table, Inspired By A Century-Old Math Equation

It turns from a perfect square into a perfect triangle in moments–to fit virtually any space.

Back in 1903, mathematician Henry Ernest Dudeney discovered the formula to turn a perfect square into an equilateral triangle. His trick was to break the square into four distinct shapes, rotating each like a geometric brain teaser.


It just so happens that, more than 100 years later, design and architecture firm D*Haus has found a new life for the formula. Their D*Table, on Kickstarter now, is like a hinged puzzle that can be rearranged to fit multiple spaces and purposes. And it’s not just a square or a triangle; it’s everything in between. That’s eight distinct shapes, most of which reveal drawers and shelves otherwise hidden by the clean lines of the base square.

It’s a neat piece, to say the least. But we had to ask D*Haus, who is this really designed for? How many of us really rearrange our living rooms that often?

“We feel adaptable and multifunctional products are becoming increasingly popular, just look at how the smartphone has revolutionized the mobile phone industry,” Director Daniel Woolfson explains. “Nowadays, people’s lifestyles change more frequently, so creating products that can change with us is a response to this trend.” It’s not a bad point: We’ve become accustomed to a certain malleability in our digital lives. (Imagine if, like a kitchen table, Chrome’s browser window was stuck to a single aspect ratio forever and ever.) So the idea that this malleability would spill over to analog products–even if it’s not an app–makes perfect sense.

After all, the D*Table could theoretically fit any space–and not just between moves–it’s even on wheels should you want to roll it around the house for impromptu setups. Now, no doubt, the $1,500 pricetag will be sticker shock to anyone who’s never delved outside of borderline disposable furniture at Ikea. But could the D*Table’s geometric logic be mass produced for a lower cost? Of course it could. That’s the best part about good design: It scales.

Order it here.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.