Our original idea was to have a table that stored chairs or benches inside of it. The table had a bench that could slide out down so one could sit on it.
Our first critique was that we weren't being very modular. So it could be a bench or a table... anything else? To do that, we hit upon the idea of using cubes: A large cube for a table and smaller cubes for the chairs.
In the second picture you can see our idea: the chairs fit inside the table, which is hollow, and when pulled our become chairs.
To make it even more modular, the chairs could have a second use when they are inside the table. Wouldn't it be awesome if when inside the table, the whole thing would transform into a chest of drawers? We made a model (picture #3,4) in a 3D modeling program, and got to work building it.
Eight chairs can fit into one table – a chest of drawers two boxes wide. Here we ran into a problem: Most chairs were 20 inches, and most tables 30. But since 20 is more then half of 30, we can't fit 2 20x20x20 chairs into a 30x30x30 table.
We decided to make the table 40x40x30. The top of the table could slide up ten inches when one wanted the chairs to fit in, but when you took out the chairs, the tabletop would slide down to a normal table height.
The final design has several different forms: Firstly, just being a table and chairs. It can also be a longer table, with two tabletops connected to make a longer one. It can also be a chest of drawers, with a top the height of a counter- slightly higher then normal, or finally, two table tops can also connect to be a coffee table.
We didn't have enough time to make a full size model, so given more time we would both do that and research good materials to use for this. We could even start a business selling modular cube furniture.