In the event of an earthquake the general advise is to shelter under a table. However, many of the earthquake areas of the world have poor building construction, so chunks of building will be flying around and a table with people below it is easily crushed. Not surprising as it’s primary design purpose is not to resist tons of rubble.
But this table’s primary design purpose is just that, to resist the impact of a building’s collapse and to provide a safe tunnel that will save lives. This is achieved with a crumple zone, (the little orange rods in the corners), that will give-way on impact when they absorb the energy of a ton of rubble, and deflect the rubble from the table zone.
There are two interesting design ideas here that could be adopted elsewhere. 1: Introducing crumple zones into other element of the built environment, perhaps certain corridor zones or bathrooms. 2: Redesigning simple objects that would need to function differently in an emergency situation. Maybe a table design that could be used as boat in a flood?