Aero Trestle Table
Designer: Catherine Aitken and David Murphy
Maker/Manufacturer: Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops
Funded By: Edward Marshall Trust
Client/Owner: Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops
Wood Supplier: Falkirk Wood, Lathams
Wood Species: Solid Scottish Ash, Aero Ply, Birch Plywood
The Aero Trestle Table was designed as part of a wider collection of furniture for the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops and their new purpose built facility in Newhaven, Edinburgh. The aim of this commission was to develop a collection of designs on site at ESW which were capable of being produced in small quantities in the workshops themselves, before being put to use throughout the new ESW building. Robust, flexible furniture was required, designs that didn’t detract from the working life of the building but that enhanced the workshop users experience.
The Aero Trestle design began life as an experiment with a sheet of rolled steel sheet and a couple of lengths of pine that we enjoyed for its lightweight strength in compression. As the design developed, steel was replaced with laminated sheets of vacuum-formed aero ply that offered a warmer, softer and altogether more pleasing aesthetic without compromising strength. Local Scottish ash was selected for the trestle legs, a material with attractive and varied figure, yet pale in colour. A simple and economical plywood table-top surface has been edged with the same solid Ash lipping, unifying the aesthetics of the piece while protecting vulnerable plywood edges from delaminating and splintering.
Two narrow bands of rubber webbing set in the underside of the tabletop provide a safe, non-slip contact with the trestles themselves. The overall result is an economical, lightweight, stackable and easily movable design that can be flexibly used in a number of contexts.