Thursday, 10 March 2011

Desk #1

Desk #1 is an office desk that is designed to wrap around whoever is sitting behind it. It is divided into two main parts: a massive steel frame and a wooden top. It is a contradictory design which is simultaneously minimal and over engineered.

It is minimal in the sense that the top has very clean lines and appears to be floating, as if suspended just inches from the massive steel frame that supports it. The legs of the frame are built from large diameter steel tubing. These support hidden struts that bolt to the horizontal steel frame which supports the wooden top. This is what gives the illusion of a floating top.

The top was constructed by heat-bending strips of wood around a former and laminating them together. The shape of the top radiates outward from whoever is seated at the desk. The original setting for this desk was a fan-shaped office room which also radiated outwards towards a window space with panoramic views.

Desk #1 in its new setting

First design sketches for desk #1 were completed not long after September 11, 2001. In the original design the steel legs were shaped as a tribute to the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The two legs on the right were positioned close together and extended up high above the surface of the desk. The legs on the left were to be formed using the same steel tubing but in a twisted and distorted shape.

During construction I found that this design had to be modified. The two tall legs on the right were imposing, making the desk feel claustrophobic, so these were trimmed down. The twisted curves were too time consuming to construct. Instead I opted to use uneven sized legs on the left, one leg not even reaching the bottom of the desk, the second leg protruding through a hole in the top left corner. The shorter leg was later adapted to carry a mini computer case (as shown in the photos).

Desk #1 can be disassembled using a few simple tools, carried by one person and transported flat inside a small hatchback car.

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