Does anyone have some idea about what material the 22 pieces of wood (or MDF) here could have been coated with that can accept the folds to allow the table to work, yet be strong enough to resist breakage across the years and openings/closings of the table and these presumptively weakest bending points?
The method of construction does not seem to be mentioned in any of the articles about it. From what I can see this was a concept design, I don't believe it was ever actually put into production so reliability was not yet a factor.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato
I think (no pun intended) that you may have "hit the nail on the head" as it regards to possible limited durability of whatever binds the pieces together in the concept piece, across time and multiple folds.
I'm thinking that butler hinges are a far more practical way to go here.
I am investigating a way of doing this--that will most likely "crash and burn" -- of taping two pieces of wood together with Gorilla Tape TM riding up the seam, and then stapling the tape on either side, as the tape is stronger against lengthwise shear than its adhesive. I may router out the thickness of the tape and staples so lays flush.
If this proves to have merit perhaps I will then cover the table with this stuff, cut for each piece, although at 1/16" it may be too thick to easily fold the table given all its folds when in compact form.