written by:
March 1, 2009

This brilliant new table, called A New Perspective, by James Tooze of England's Batch, combines graphic design and carpentry to produce a three-dimensional diagram of itself. That is, viewed from a certain angle, the table becomes a chart of its own construction.

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Printed onto the outer surfaces of the table are thin white lines that reveal the internal joints and separate pieces that meet up to form the table. As the following images make clear, if you stand in the right place, it all lines up and the internal design—like a glimpse of the table's skeleton—is revealed.

I have to admit that I think this is totally awesome. Not only would I love to see this applied to other pieces of furniture, elsewhere, from couches to beds to dressers to chairs, but it would be at least as amazing if applied even to entire architectural structures. You go up onto the observation deck of the Empire State Building one day—only to see that that new building in midtown, with all the crazy lines on its facade, is suddenly visible from just the right angle... and a diagram of its internal spaces is revealed. 

As Tooze himself writes, quoted on Design Milk: "The table is the start of a larger project illustrating the reality of objects in terms of their materials, manufacture and possible use. This piece means to encourage investigation into how things are made." He compares this to offering x-rays of the given object.

How cool, though, to imagine this same thing applied to large-scale structures. I've already mentioned whole buildings, but imagine geological forms and even active subterranean fault lines given this sort of graphic treatment. After an 8.0 earthquake hits the San Andreas Fault, all those weird lines painted on the ground by James Tooze make sense, lining up to diagram the tectonic structure of the earth below.

In any case, check out the rest of Batch's work when you get a chance!

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