MIT’s Shapeshifting Table

Introducing a furniture with superpowers.

What do you think of when you think of a table?


Most likely, an image of a rigid and static four-legged structure that stands proudly in the middle of your living room will pop up in your mind.

The MIT Media Lab, however, has created something that will completely revolutionize the orthodox ideas you have in mind.


Transform, created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group, is a table that senses the kinetic energy of a person who is viewing the table and uses that energy to make rippling movements through the pins on the table. It is designed to tell the story of the conflict between nature and machine through the constantly changing pins in the table, as the movement of the pins are representative of the different motions of wind, water, and sand interactions.


This table aims to combine the static and dynamic aspects of nature into one piece of furniture.The shapeshifting feature of the table supports a variety of uses, such as holding objects, moving objects, generating interactive sculptures, and creating dividers. For example, if you place an apple on this table, the pins would adjust to make a bowl for the apple so that it is dissociated from the other objects on the table.

(Business Insider)
(Business Insider)

With this step in innovation and advancement in technology, it is exciting to think about the possibilities that technology has as it advances. Perhaps superpowers we all dream of such as flying, invisibility, and mind reading will one day be incorporated into technology.


Take a look at these links to further check out how Transform works.


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

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