Ken had built some rough prototypes and physical ideas in the shop, mostly settling on a simple shelf concept. Sean made an initial pitch to use cork for the legs—only to be denied on account of the cork not looking very good.
But questions about the legs still lingered. How many legs would we need? Would there be multiple potential orientations, or one set conformation? Would the legs incorporate additional functions?
"We know everyone works differently, so the workspace solutions have to account for that with flexibility. It’s not modular, but the simplicity creates flexibility."
The workspaces we had observed were so varied, we realized that our shelf alone wouldn’t solve all workspace organization problems. So, we continued to design!
Use it how you like, use it how you need to—making the product simple makes it better.
Additionally, the drawer design would have been more expensive, due to additional hardware and engineering. Integrating it directly with the desk shelf would have made the whole product more expensive than we were comfortable with!
So we nixed the drawer concept and focused on a tray. Sean studied and created a variety of machined cork pockets, settling on a simple set to hold the things you most often keep at your desk. The tray is designed to slide neatly under the integrated metal shelf, but works just as well on its own, resting on a table or desk completely separate from the desk shelf. It’s a supplemental piece that can help your workflow—making the product simple makes it better and more versatile.
We designed the original laptop stand for someone who worked exclusively on their laptop, with a separate keyboard and mouse. But, through our research, we’d observed that the laptop was often only one of multiple screens people would use. Going to and from meetings or traveling, they’d take the laptop with, leaving the laptop stand exposed on the desk.
Sean worked through various explorations using bent metal to create a pretty, and pretty radical, solution.
"Ironically, the laptop lift alone ended up taking about 80% of the total time we spent designing the desk shelf system. We have to push our designs to match our expectations, but also what’s feasible to produce in real life."
Thanks for the inspiration—we’re excited to keep listening and learning, to help make your workspace somewhere where you can get your best work done!