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the Function

The Function, began as a study of the history of desks in product design class during the fall of 2009. Through that study I realized that desks have this horrible way of closing the user in with junk on either side. The other glaring issue was that popular desks new and old are one-dimensional, meaning they are meant for you to sit in “front” of it and use no other wide equitably.

One such desk in example, the pedestal desk. It only allows you pull your chair up right in the middle and then you are sandwiched by two large bulky stacks of drawers. What are in those drawers? I think everyone knows nothing more than junk; things you don’t need but you put there because it is out of sight.


So what is important in a desk? If you ask me, hands down it is the top surface. The surface is what makes a desk. It is the place that you do everything related to "desking," what’s underneath is nothing less than baggage. This baggage proves using any other side than the middle front useless because the one cannot engage themselves well enough with the desk. My research led me to this excellent diagram of what portion of a desk you can actually use. Another obvious move but rarely realized comes from the notion that the human body is not meant to come into contact with sharp or blunt objects. Looking through this type of research led me to the consummate designer Philippe Starck’s Baobab desk. It seems to solve most of the problems of ergonomics and also un-coincidentally, the Baobob mimics the shape of what is usable space diagram. 

Taking these items as precedents to either follow or throw away, I decided that the surface is where all the function should happen - it just needs a slight thickening. Packing all the things that are necessary and useful in a desk into the surface was important to me: Marginal storage, cord management (because desks are now host to the technology that surrounds us), and ergonomics. Above all the desk surface is to be fully used, not over or undersized and meant for people to pull up and use it any way they want. I removed as much clutter as I could much off the top of the desk as possible, IE: monitors are on their own stand, keyboard and mouse have a slide in drawer with cords that run through the desk rather than on top and an external hard drive can have its own bin with cord routing within the desk. I believe this desk should serve all the functions that a well-designed work space should include without a bunch of extra junk that is not necessary and could be stored other places thus rendering your desk, a desk - not a storage unit.

If you are interested in buying the Function, give me your email and I'll let you know when it's ready to sell!