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Shape-shifting table can transform from coffee setting to dining table in a second

A shape-shifting table that can convert from dinner table to coffee table in just one second may sound like it is more about function than form — but French design company Boulon Blanc wants to inject a bit of style into what would otherwise simply be a space-saving apparatus.

The result is its Table Archimède, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

“This is a table for anyone with limited space who loves beautiful objects — or just anyone who wants a table unlike any other,” designer Benoît Caille told Digital Trends. “What’s great about it is that it really feels like two different tables.”

While adjustable tables have been around for years, Caille set out to reinvent them, based on the engineering and aeronautical expertise of himself and fellow designer Karim Fargeau. Where other tables would make no big deal of their transforming element, Table Archimède makes it into an eye-catching feature: a mechanical flourish that looks so good and effortless you will want to show it off to friends whenever possible.

“We wanted to make something different from any transformable table we’d seen before,” Caille said. “We didn’t want to do another table with an X-based mechanism like an ironing board. We wanted to come up with a new solution that was both technical and beautiful at the same time. I think we achieved that.”

The patented raising and lowering mechanism was, Caille noted, inspired by a combination of sources, including propeller design, aircraft wings, watchmaking, and “the shape of a boomerang.”

As with so much great design, it appears incredibly simple but is actually complex. The table rollout mechanism is composed of 300 parts, such as ball bearings, pulleys, springs, cables, and assorted steel components. The wood of the table is sourced from sustainable forests and crafted using high-end computer-controlled machines.

At 640 euros ($703 U.S.), it is not cheap — but, hey, great design is worth paying for! Plus, you can always rationalize it as two separate tables for $351.50 each, if that makes it easier to sleep at night.