Despite all of the investment Silicon Valley companies put into the interior design of their offices–from private James Turrell rooms to Dutch waffle-cookie ceilings–foosball and ping pong tables still make make our modern workplaces look like some set out of Big. Games! Tournaments with prizes! Work 80 hours a week and never grow up!
Our walnut conference tables surrounded by Eames chairs deserve better, like this pair of ping pong tables, called Monoliths, spotted by Dezeen. Created by Murray Barker and Laith McGregor for the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne, the pieces are made primarily of concrete, which has been sand blasted and mixed in various aggregates to resemble natural stone. Extra touches include copper inlays, designed to patina over time, while the net is made of stainless steel, theoretically remaining ageless.
As the design team explains on their site, all of this attention to materials is meant to create fun, public art that’s strangely monumental in scope. “The works are perceived as enigmatic sculptural forms, built to elucidate the weight of the object in relation to the surrounding urban landscape, and conforming to standard dimensions for recreational playability,” they write.
Indeed, looking at the tables’ pyramidal bases, they almost evoke visions of Egypt’s ancient tombs or the towering steps of Chichen Itza, making it easy to imagine such gravitas-inducing table tennis in Silicon Valley’s modern offices today–to be unearthed, perhaps, by archeologists a decade or two after the bubble bursts.