“An arrangement of surfaces”

Dieter Rams designed the 621 Table for Vitsœ in 1962, not only as the partner to the 620 Chair Programme, but as a series of large and small surfaces that can be used almost universally.

Portrait of Dieter Rams and 621 Tables in their packaging from 1962

Tellingly, Rams does not like it called a table; he prefers, “an arrangement of surfaces.” Typically, he is correct.

You can learn more about Rams’s thinking – and how the 621 Table might be considered an exemplar – by reading his Ten principles for good design.

3D-modelled for precision

The reengineering started in 2014 with Rams’s original hand-drawn blueprints. 3D-modelling was used to translate them for modern injection-moulding techniques.

Once modelled, the table’s details were 3D-printed to ensure their faithfulness to the original blueprints.

The corner curves of the 621 Table
Perfecting each curve of the original design

Throughout the design process, the hands of Dieter Rams were the ultimate test: within seconds he could relay if any further changes were needed. Ultimately he declared himself “overwhelmed” by the finished result.

Dieter Rams inspecting the adjustable feet

Injection-moulded for strength

It is an injection-moulded, impact-modified polystyrene that gives the 621 Table its form and strength.

A large 621 Table turned on its side to use as a tray

Rams’s design concentrates material at the edges which, along with the recesses in the legs, increases its stiffness and sturdiness. These recesses also provide a tray when the table is turned on its side.

The textured, hand-painted finish is UV-resistant, so it will not discolour over time.

The painted surface of the off-white and black tables
The table surface is anti-static (dust-resistant) and wipes clean

Adjustable feet for stability

Rams always intended the table to have adjustable feet, so meticulous care was taken over this addition. Fortunately there were a number of precedents in the Rams/Vitsœ archive from which to draw.

The resulting feet can be adjusted to 4mm in height. Even the apparently flat surface of the underside of the foot is, in fact, slightly convex to compensate for a floor’s imperfections.

The feet can also be removed easily if you habitually use the table turned on its side – or your floor is level.

621 Table adjustable foot

Specification

Dimensions

Small table

30cm 46.5cm 36cm 4.5kg

Large table

32cm 52.5cm 45cm 5.5kg

Materials

The table is hand-painted in a textured, two-part, polyurethane finish that will not fade, in either off-white (RAL 9002) or black (RAL 9005).

Care

The 621 Table wipes clean with a damp cloth – no need for chemical or abrasive cleaners.