Shift is a minimalist side and coffee table created by Netherlands-based design firm Oato. The company, established by Stefan Tervoort and Pim Snijdoodt in 2012, is driven to creating simple aesthetics that are poetic and functional. Their main objective is to reshape everyday objects into creations that balance emotion and industry.

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The Shift tables are laser-cut from a continuous rectangular sheet of 3mm steel. The designers were strategic in leaving small segments of a few millimeters connected so that it would become possible to fold the table into the desired shape merely by hand. CNC cutting was used to reach a level of precision that would otherwise be impossible to accomplish manually.

The 3mm overlapping surfaces create a double triangle structure, making the table very stable while reducing the contact noise dramatically. The design is finished with a simple, yet slightly textured matte white coating to accentuate its various angles and edges. Shift is a hybrid between technology and human ability in that half of the product requires machined precision, while the other half requires human control. Due to budget constraints, having to bend the metal using only machines would be both complex and costly.

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