If you live in an earthquake-prone region, you have probably had earthquake safety drummed into you from an early age. At school, students are often told to get under their desks to protect themselves from falling debris. As long as the debris in question is relatively small (as it most often is), that advice can save lives. But when earthquakes get bigger, the protection offered by a typical school desk is limited.
That prompted two students at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design to create a table that’s better able to stand up to the levels of impact that could be encountered in a strong earthquake. Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno designed their two-person table to withstand up to ton of weight dropped from ceiling height. As a bonus, when the tables are arranged in rows, they form an evacuation corridor that can be used to escape a building or allow access to emergency services personnel.
The only drawback is the price. The earthquake-ready desk costs about 2.5 times that of a regular desk. On the other hand, given the robust construction and materials used, it’s expected to outlast its regular counterparts – making the long-term cost of implementation more or less the same.
While many design concepts never reach production, Brutter’s and Bruno’s looks to have a solid future ahead of it. The design has already been licensed to Israeli school furniture manufacturer A.D. Meraz Industries, plus it’s been nominated for London Design Museum’s design of the year award. It’ll appear at the 2012 Design Bonanza Bezalel exhibition in Milan through April 22.