CRAB Furniture

Project Description

We don’t regard the interiors of buildings, or the bits and pieces that operate within them as different from buildings sitting in context: both scales involve iconography, interplay and articulation. In some ways you can inhabit a room with tables, chairs or surfaces that cling to a wall and ‘tune’ that inhabitation: letting the parts drift casually, or applying a series of ‘rules’ for their disposition.

In the case of the CRAB studio tables, a deliberate and ostensibly ‘wayward’ edge line conceals a series of optional positions: based upon people eating, reading, drawing or watching a screen: but then ‘tweaked’ and punctuated with holes that lie in the tradition of the ‘beauty spots’ that were applied to the skin of 18th century coquettes – in order to draw attention to the handsomeness of the rest.


The first table in the series pre-dates the formation of the CRAB studio office by several years.

A table with an undulating profile edge was cut by Peter Cook in 1994 for home use. Around the same time he created a working desk and coffee table for his office at the Bartlett School of Architecture (where he was Chairman from 1990 to 2006). These were the first to incorporate 2.5 cm holes : disposed so as to act as either (a) a distraction to the visitor (b) somewhere to store pencils or (c) as a visual counterpoint to the twists and turns of the edge profile. Out of these have come a continual line of variations.



Applying certain aspects of the generic CRAB tables to the provision of work tables in the Architecture School of Bond University, Queensland, is the major extension of CRAB studio design from the building through to the furniture within. There is also the development of reception desks, main library desk and general library desks in the Law building of the Vienna University of Economics.

In these cases, strict economic constraints and the incorporation of statutory requirements does not seemed to have dampened the spirit of the CRAB table.




client: various

location: various


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