“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.
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-molding techniques.
Once modelled, the table’s details were 3D-printed to ensure their faithfulness to the original blueprints.
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.
Injection-molded for strength
It is an injection-molded, impact-modified polystyrene that gives the 621 Table its form and strength.
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 discolor over time.
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 3⁄16” 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.
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).
The 621 Table wipes clean with a damp cloth – no need for chemical or abrasive cleaners.