First invented by German physicist and astronomer Christoph Scheiner in 1603, the pantograph was used for centuries to copy and scale diagrams and text leading up to the introduction of more modern solutions used today.

More recently, Brooklyn-based designer Ian Stell utilized the functional mechanism to create a collection of tables and chairs that can expand or contract based on an intended application – both for small and large spaces.

Crafted from various shades of dyed maple and white oak, the seating portion of the designer’s Pantograph system is capable of expanding from 33 inches to an impressive 104 inches without losing structural support – while the table can expand to 113 inches from 83 inches. A system of custom internal brass pivots between each of the joints help guide the pantograph movements smoothly:







According to Stell, the complexity of an otherwise simple object that many designers have approached with reductive design over the past century is the result of his admiration for dense rhythms and patterns that can only be achieved through working with and embracing complexity.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.