"Duck and Cover" may not have been a viable strategy for surviving a nuclear explosion in the 50s, but hiding under a classroom table is still recommended action during an earthquake--standing under a door frame is actually one of the more dangerous things to do when the ceiling is collapsing around you. Finding shelter under a desk may be even more appealing with the new design of an earthquake-proof table created at the Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The table's creators, Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno, spent two years working on the design, which they claim is still light enough for two children to move around while being strong enough to withstand the crushing weight of 1000kg (over 2000 pounds) landing on its surface.
The patent-pending design uses the tried-and-true strength of triangles to distribute impact to four crush zones at the corners of the table. In the video below, you can see repeated tests of dropped weights deforming the tabletop, but the metal frame remaining intact as the pressure is absorbed and dissipated at the sides. The space under the table remains untouched, and the frame is structured in a way to allow children to crawl between tables and toward a rescuer.
The table has been nominated for the London Design Museum's design of the year award, and has already been licensed by a furniture manufacturer in Israel. Its unlikely to see widespread adoption stateside, though, as the table is expected to cost more than twice as much as current school desks. How about a wholesale discount for schools in earthquake-prone California?
You can watch more video of the table being tested with a range of weights here.