Ingenious morphing furniture can transform to suit any space

The Sinan table expands and contracts using a mechanism based on the pantograph, an ancient drawing tool

By Lauren Ro/ Curbed

If you’ve ever had to call a “sofa doctor” or pry a door off its hinges just to get an oversized couch or a bureau into your home, then you’ll appreciate New York-based designer Ian Stell’s mesmerising new collection of expandable and contractible furniture.

The pieces, which were shown at last week’s Collective Design Fair, can be manipulated to varying dimensions and configurations simply by extending a corner or a side. The mechanism by which these objects move is the pantograph, an ancient drawing tool, which, in very basic terms, mimics the movement of an accordion, a scissor lift, or the extendable arm on a wall-mounted mirror.

The series includes the Austrian Loop face-to-face seating system, which, in its natural state, measures 33 inches long and extends to a total length of 104 inches. Tables—named the Sidewinder, Sinan, Lattice, and Big Pivot—are also available in varying shapes and sizes. All of the objects are made using maple or oak wood (or both), and employ internal brass pivots that allow them to shift, expand, or contract according to the space they occupy, or the user’s mood. Stell’s limited edition designs perfectly marry beautiful design, utilitarian function, and complex engineering.