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Whoa: This Dinner Table Can Be Shipped In An Envelope

By creating a design that can be shipped in a standard FedEx envelope, one designer has opened new possibilities for online shopping.

You remember the commercial. There was that envelope sitting on a white counter. That quirky Yael Naim song played. A hand gently untwined the string and–holy–there was a laptop in there! Now, imagine your shock if the exact same thing happened, but instead of a thin laptop, that hand pulled a whole table from the envelope.

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Postable is a new table by Studio Toer. And rather than distinguishing itself through wood grain or tall legs, it’s been designed for one purpose: to pack super thin. It’s thin enough to slide into an envelope–an envelope that can fit in a mailbox rather than on a doorstep–yet it folds out large enough to feed a family of four.

“Today’s products are designed to sell themselves online,” co-founder and designer Wouter Widdershoven writes. “However the delivery of these objects is not designed for today. It’s still difficult to actually receive your ordered goods. You need to wait at home. If you miss the delivery, you still need to pick it up yourself somewhere.”

So Toer designed a series of tables out of 1mm stainless steel. They’re not so different from the traditional card table, except they fold a few extra times and begin with much thinner base materials. It’s really somewhat ironic, that while Postable has an industrial look and feel, it’s actually the most consumer-friendly table I’ve ever seen–designed at its core to make the trip into one’s house as simple as possible. (Because who hasn’t had to get a couch delivered, or some major piece of furniture “installed”?)

I asked Widdershoven if it was a difficult table to design–after all, no one else was making furniture that fit into envelopes. “Yes it was a challenge, but then again it was the only challenge,” Widdershoven responded. “To make a table is relatively easy.”

It’s almost shocking that an Amazon hasn’t come along to design a few pieces of furniture specifically for the mail-order customer. Then again, they’re a company unafraid to pack a single cartridge of razors into a room-sized box, so maybe the incentive simply isn’t there. But should you be interested, Postable is available in sizes up to about six feet long. Prices range from $230 to $850. Obviously, they’re shippable.

Buy one here.

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[Hat tip: designboom]

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About the author

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

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