A History of the Picnic Table

From campground to crab shack to suburban backyard, the picnic table is so ubiquitous that it is nearly invisible as a designed object. Yet this ingenious form has remained largely unchanged since the 1930s. As camping season begins in North America, we celebrate an icon of vernacular design.

From campground to crab shack to suburban backyard, the ingenious form of the picnic table has remained largely unchanged since the 1930s.

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  • Belmont Freeman
  • Aaron Rothman
  • Simon Sadler

Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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Simon Sadler

Simon Sadler is a columnist for Places. He teaches the history and theory of architecture, design, and urbanism across several programs at the University of California, Davis, where he is a professor in the Department of Design.

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Gabrielle Esperdy

Gabrielle Esperdy is a columnist for Places. She is associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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