MoMA acquires Israeli designer’s Earthquake Proof Table

The school desk, nominated in last year’s ‘Oscars of the design world,’ now takes a permanent place in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Earthquake Proof Table that Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design student Arthur Brutter created for his final project has been acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for its permanent collection of architecture and design.

Last year, Brutter’s unique school desk was nominated for one of the design world’s most prestigious prizes, the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, organized by the Design Museum London.

The metal-and-wood table can absorb some of the force of an earthquake and flexes in specific places so as to protect anyone using it as a shelter during the trembler. Sturdy as it is, the table is light enough to be moved by two children, who can then fit underneath it.

Brutter designed the desk with his instructor Ido Bruno of the Jerusalem art school’s industrial design department. He was motivated by his discovery that some 300 million children in the world attend schools built along geological rift lines. If an earthquake strikes, pupils are told to get under their desks, but regular school desks can actually become lethal traps by breaking apart under the weight of falling debris.

The Earthquake Proof Table, tested at an Italian institute for its ability to withstand up to a ton of impact and weight, is manufactured by A.D. Meraz Industries and is being commercialized through the Bezalel Labs R&D Center.

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About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.