Earthquake-ready table withstands a solid ton of crushing weight

It is one of those things you have to see to believe. The video below shows a new kind of table taking the brunt of one ton of weight in a vertical drop test. That's impressive — even more so when you consider it could save thousands of schoolchildren's lives if they are caught at school during a quake.

Some 300 million schoolchildren worldwide are estimated to live in an earthquake zone and many are taught to take shelter under their desks in the event of an earthquake. The trouble is, these desks are not built to withstand serious earthquake — and the same goes for many buildings in the developing world.

The new table is exactly the kind of shelter that could make a difference. The table has a system of braces that take on the falling weight. Though the top of the table does crack under the weight in the test, the braces support that top creating a protective tent of sorts.

Surprisingly, the table isn't made of kryptonite — it is light enough that two school kids can carry it.

The table designed by Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno from Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is already beginning to achieve recognition for its innovative approach. It's been nominated for London's Design Museum's design of the year award, and will be on display at the 2012 Design Bonanza Bezalel exhibition in Milan this week.

The table is admittedly more expensive — approximately 2.5 times more so — than normal tables. But, these tables are hardcore and not only do they give a new measure of protection than existing tables, they are also likely to last.

What's even more, these tables aren't just prototypes (we love good ideas that actually gets produced)! They are already under license to a manufacturer in Israel, and the team is looking to negotiate deals to bring the tables to other countries.

Here's hoping these tables make it to classrooms all over the world soon!

Wired, via OhGizmo

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