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In Spring 2023, I took a furniture design class. One assignment involved creating an identical pair of trestles to support a 3’ x 7’ glass top. 


  • Wood working tools

  • Basic wood joinery techniques 

  • Furniture aesthetics 

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Early inspiration for the shape, aesthetic, and joinery.

  • Inspiration for the design began with my love for Isamu Noguchi’s balancing sculptures; a series of amorphous shapes connected with slot joints.

    • The way that the shapes interact by overlapping intersecting in perpendicular planes was the basis for the legs.

    • The organic shapes often seen in Noguchi’s work, for example in the iconic Herman Miller coffee table, inspired the top of the trestles.

  • I like how Noguchi creates furniture that look like sculptures. His coffee table looks like a piece art in addition to being functional.​

  • Because the table top is glass, I wanted the trestles to look interesting through from the top as well as from the side. The people sitting can enjoy the kidney bean shape and the legs.

  • The biomorphic shape lends a softer feeling to the table; like its blending more with the space around it. 

  • I want the six people sitting to feel comfortable. The three legs are positioned to leave room for legs of people sitting in chairs at the table.

Scale model I made of my design.

Final design showing how the legs are positioned for leg space

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The aesthetic is modernist and simple. It works with many different rooms which is helpful to me as a college student moving around. I chose to do a three legged design because of the triangle shapes they form when you look from the side. The legs form strong, clean lines in space. The three legs are also angled towards the corners and center to leave room for the legs of people dining at the table.

A feature of this trestle design is that it doubles as a side table of its own. When separated, each trestle can be used as a side table as demonstrated in the bottom picture. As a college student without a permanent home right now, versatility is valuable. I don’t currently have space for a 7’ table but I do have space for two smaller surfaces. Down the line I can put them together for a full dining table.

  • Overall, this experience was extremely valuable to me improving as a designer. I’ve done small wood projects before but never something on this scale that had to bear this much load. I learned so many woodworking techniques, tools, and practices just in this one project.

  • The trestles are a little wobbly, but I got great feedback about how to improve the construction and engage all three planes to strengthen the legs.

  • I’d play with the shape of the legs and top if I had more time; really explore the sculptural possibilities of this design.

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