Bouncing around: rounding up the most innovative ping pong table designs

The table tennis world's most innovative designs

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During our ongoing design expeditions, we've stumbled upon a plethora of impressive ping pong tables and accessories, all of which have got us in the gaming mood. Using new materials and forms, designers are experimenting with the traditional wiff waff setting, creating everything from concrete architectural structures to digital 3D printed forms. Starting with our favourites from this year, we present our roundup of the table tennis world's most innovative designs...

The natural flaws and patterns created on the wood to shine

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Ping ping table by Sean Woolsey

Californian designer Sean Woolsey concentrates on the organic quality of his woodcrafted works. Made with a distinctive warmth, this black walnut table evokes elegance and sophistication. Its simple, clean-cut model allows the natural flaws and patterns created on the wood to shine, while the white coated steel base provides a cool contrast

Wood mounted display rack

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The ethically sourced set arrives with Japanese balls, and this engraved wood mounted display rack

High-luxe table channels an architecture style

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'Balance' by Clarus Glassboards

This high-luxe table channels an architecture style. A clean glass top allows a view of the dynamic ribs of wood making up the base of the structure. This elegant feature brings a level of sophistication to the game, while its curves maintain a coy playfulness

Three different material models

(Image credit: Eugeni Pons)

'RAM' by Francesc Rifé for ENEBE Sport Group

Available in three different material models – recycled glass, Krion and walnut wood – the 'RAM' ping pong table has been created with an ecological aesthetic. Designed by Barcelona-based studio Francesc Rifé, the glass version (pictured) comprises tinted green slats fused together for a refined futuristic finish. Photography: Eugeni Pons

Contemporary dining tables

(Image credit: Eugeni Pons)

The Krion version is equally elegant, with two sleek, solid 'legs'. All editions have hidden accessory drawers, so they can be converted into contemporary dining tables. Photography: Eugeni Pons

Office furniture experts Bulo have shifted outside

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'Dan Pingpong Table' by Bulo

Office furniture experts Bulo have shifted outside of their contract comfort zone with the 'Dan' collection. The structural range, made up of stained veneer frames, was released in 2014 with a selection of tables and chairs. This year, using the same forms, they have mastered the ping pong table. Two sets of metal legs utilise Japanese joinery to create a work-zone friendly playground

A foldable table tennis table

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'Pull-Pong' by MWA

Launched as a prototype at Stockholm Furniture Fair this year, 'Pull Pong' works as both a dining tale for eight individuals and a foldable table tennis table. Designed by Belgian architect Julien De Smedt and produced by MWA (Makers with Agendas), a basic design ethos of building pieces for real purpose gave this multi-use piece a minimalist form in ash, steel and plywood

Made for outdoor play

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'Ping Pong Table' by James DeWulf

Made for outdoor play, this concrete table exemplifies DeWulf's expertise in taking heavy concrete and repurposing it in highly refined designs. A sleek top contrasts with two solid framed legs, resulting in a product with the perfect bounce and an irresistibly austere aesthetic. Released during ICFF this year, the table factors a further step in the LA-based designer's experiments with raw concrete (joining an existing pool table and chess board)

A tennis-court printed table

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'You and Me Zuzunaga' by Cristian Zuzunaga for RS Barcelona

Branded with iconic sporting colours is the limited edition 'You and Me Zuzunaga' table by the eponymous designer, released this summer. The Spaniard draws on the vibrant style seen in his printed cushions and rugs to create a tennis-court printed table, for design store RS Barcelona

The table is available in both magneta and green

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The table is available in both magneta and green. Special features include a hidden draw beneath the table to hold the bats – allowing the piece to also act as boardroom or dining table when play is off

The 'Ok Point' table is a collaboration

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'Ok Point' by Laith McGregor and Murray Barker

Created as part of the 'Monoliths' exhibition for Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne and installed on their campus, the 'Ok Point' table is a collaboration between artist Laith McGregor and architect Murray Barker. The rough concrete piece easily fulfills the remit of creating public art which people can connect with. Boasting a geometric style  – the pyramid leg leads to a top surface patterned with diamond copper inlays – its organic form combines high design and architecture with the egalitarian concept of public gaming

Matching benches to encourage social interactive play

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'Step-up Ko' by Laith McGregor and Murray Barker

Also part of 'Monoliths' is this darkened version of the table, made of black oxide-tinted concrete. Sticking with the geometric theme, the pair have factored a carved stepped base, alongside a space made for drinks – a nod to time spent in Berlin, a city where outdoor table tennis has long proved popular. Both models also include matching benches to encourage social interactive play

Table is emblematic

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'Ping Pong Table' by BDDW

BDDW's table is emblematic of the American brand's expertise with warm woods and leather. Marrying maple and cherry woods, the table sits on six legs while natural mulled leather provides a little conspicuous luxury (in shades of maroon)

Matching bats are available

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Matching bats are available in the same carefully carved dark and light timbers and a hand stitched tan leather coat fits comfortably around them

The black aluminium form stands on one leg

(Image credit: Galerie Vivid)

'Deceptor' by Janne Kyttanen and Galerie Vivid

Possibly the most innovative model of the group, 'Deceptor' was released as part as of an exhibition of 3D models by Finnish designer Janne Kyttanen. For his 3D-printed table and paddles, the digital whizz has kept the design and colour boldly graphic – the black aluminium form stands on one leg, giving it a sophisticated look. Photography: Galerie Vivid

Matching bats and ball

(Image credit: Galerie Vivid)

The show, at Rotterdam's Galerie Vivid, also included these matching bats and ball – they were designed to be aerodynamic, supposedly allowing for more complex shot techniques. Photography: Galerie Vivid

Playfully designed with uneven legs on each side

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'Smash Pong' by Vallée Duhamel

Studio Vallée Duhamel aim to alter the fundamental workings of the game with their whimsical table. An assortment of coloured shapes are integrated into the design to alter the concept: hitting the the protruding objects on the court gains you points, making it possible to play solo. Playfully designed with uneven legs on each side, its abstract form resembles an art piece and comes complete with a scoreboard and bats

Wooden paddles in equally abstract shapes

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The Canadian duo have carved its wooden paddles in equally abstract shapes, making play more challenging

Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.