Actual-Size Architecture, a San Francisco bay area residential design
Prosthetic Cabriole
Self-attaching bamboo table leg
“That’s a terrible name!”
—Zahid Sardar, Design Editor, San Francisco Chronicle

This detachable table leg is a reinterpretation of the cabriole — a design convention popularized during the Enlightenment, suggestive originally of man’s aspirations toward, and then dominion over, nature. It is here expressive of today’s attitudes toward nature, and it’s modern-day pretender, the machine.

Natural and mechanical forms join in a strained symbiosis. The steel both augments and violates the bamboo leg. Do the benefits of technology outweigh its invasiveness? Does technology suit us, or are we compromising ourselves to its restrictions? In refining the details of this table leg, I’ve attempted to keep one from answering these questions too quickly.


Bamboo’s remarkable elasticity allows the kerfed leg to flex with enough pressure to grip the tabletop. An upper bracket holds the piece in check. A rubber insert in the upper bracket keeps the top from sliding; Delrin inserts in the lower bracket allow for easy detachment.

The stem retaining the upper bracket is adjustable in 1/32” increments to fit the thickness of the tabletop. The foot is adjustable up and down, and will flex to accommodate an uneven floor. Care was taken to avoid the fashion for exposed fasteners, and the whole device may be disassembled for storage, transportation, or eventual recycling, without the use of tools.