January 31, 2012
We all know achieving the ultimate workspace (like our past DeskTops spotlight above with its Mirra chair) is an iterative process that requires patience and keen eye for what should and shouldn’t go on top of the daily working surface. But if we could do it all over, we’d go for a more minimal look, showcasing only the bare essentials and shelving the rest.
First things first, we’d immediately replace all our keyboards and mice with Bluetooth-enabled devices. For batteries, we recommend using Sanyo Enelops. They’ve tested well in our Unplggd labs and have been a personal favorite around the office.
Next, we’d pair down the desk to just 3 main areas: 1) the main computer, 2) a desk lamp, and 3) the landing station for our smartphone. We’d even go as far as to create a separate area for keys and wallet since they make more sense by the door than on a busy surface as the primary working desk.
A potential spot for a fourth area would be reserved for audio junkies such as myself, in which case we’d make room for set of audiophile monitors or our favorite headphones.
We could even devise similar plans for a tablet-only setup by creating a quick and easy docking station that’s both functional and clutter-less. A simply designed stand like the Upstand allows for just that.
Lastly, we’d address the issue of wire management, both nearby items and along the underside. Remember, even the slightest overlooked detail can ruin the perfect setup!
What are the bare essentials for your dream desk setup?
By Anthony Nguyen.
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
January 20, 2012
1. Well Appointed Desk for their coverage of the home office.
2. Dezeenscreen for their lovely video on the Sharing Plug – a new plug that offers a good solution to home office cable chaos.
3. Hongkiat for their post on 5o great work stations.
4. Unclutterer for their round up of organizing tips.
5. 20×200 for their great collection of affordable art. Perfect for sprucing up the home office.
6. MarketingTech Blog for their infographic on the rise of the mobile worker. We certainly aren’t alone!
7. Scientific America ran an interesting article in early January on the mobile worker and how technology is aiding the transition from office to home office.
8. Desire to Inspire for the crazy workspaces post.
9. Chictip has a good post on home office set ups.
10. The Selby for his coverage of Olaf Hajek’s home and home work space.
February 17, 2011
I wonder what Herman Miller’s founder D. J. De Pree would think about yesterday’s Treehugger post on standing desks. Having spent yesterday glued to my work chair writing all day I can see a lot of advantages to a standing desk! Is anyone out there working at a standing desk? Be interested to hear what it’s like.
Balance, Design, Products
March 26, 2010
Gregory over at Unplggd is moving house and looking for a new desk. And, while I’m not moving house I am looking for a new desk (this dining table just doesn’t cut it anymore). We clearly have very similar taste – Herman Miller’s Airia desk is top of both our lists! Check out Gregory’s post for his full list.
Airia was designed by Ayako Takase, Cutter Hutton and Chris Specce of Kaiju Studios, a design consultancy based Providence, RI. “There are lots of beautiful desks out there, but they don’t support work and home functionality,” says Takase. At the same time, says Hutton, “We designed it to be shown off and on display in your home. The millwork detail on the walnut frame, sleek legs, and elegant form let Airia fit well with both classic and contemporary furniture. It’s timeless. We intend it to be a desk you’ll keep for the rest of your life–and give to your kids.”
Balance, Design, Products
January 26, 2010
Matt Hickman, is a freelance journalist and consultant who covers lifestyle, design and green-living. I talked to him about his Brooklyn home office.
How long have you worked from home? I’ve worked from home on and off for six years — half of which was spent as a graduate student. Home/work for the past three years has been a two bedroom, fourth floor walk-up apartment in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Red Hook, a heavily industrial waterfront area was once marked by gangster grittiness of all stripes … first the mafia and later urban gangs. The waterfront area is now infamous as a haven for working artists, designers, and writers since it’s slightly off the grid. Geographically, Red Hook is no Siberia but the lack of a convenient subway stop keep the rents low. Everyone seems to know each other and the smattering of bars, restaurants, and boutiques are predominately run or staffed by locals. There’s an organic farm, community gardens growing in vacant lots, historic longshoreman bars, waterfront parks and piers, and, um, an IKEA [the frame below in Matt's entryway is from IKEA]. I couldn’t imagine working from any where else … although it is refreshing to shed the pajamas every so often and attend proper meetings.
What does a ‘normal’ day entail? An average work day revolves a lot of moving around from bed to desk to couch to a stool in the kitchen. Lots of “walk” breaks and trips to Fairway market for lunch. Workdays kind of flow on and on, starting early and ending late. I spend a lot of time looking out my windows and thinking since there’s great light, little noise, and few distractions. I have city views and a full-frontal view of Statue of Liberty sitting in the lower New York Harbor. During late summer afternoons, I charge my laptop, grab a a blanket, and head to my roof where I get WiFi.
Is there any form of technology that helps you? My MacBook desktop is cluttered with Sticky Notes, otherwise my virtual organization habits are pretty minimal. I keep an old fashioned paper calender. IM is my virtual water cooler. Since I do miss the daily interaction of being in a proper office full-time, saying hello to friends and colleagues while taking a work break is a godsend (most of the time).
How do you organize your space? Is there a desktop tool you can’t do without? Working from my living and bedrooms, I have to keep everything organized and in-order (organizing and cleaning and redecorating is my ultimate work-from-home procrastination tool). Public radio is usually on at all hours and there’s a steady supply of caffeine in the fridge. Magazines and books (mostly fiction and memoir) are on hand for periodic recharging. Stamps, good pens, my Blackberry, and loose pieces of paper are all required in my work area. And then there’s cable television ….
What inspires you? Living in a creative enclave in the middle of the city really keeps the inspiration levels high. If I was working from home elsewhere in the city, I’d feel flat-out stifled, much more claustrophobic. It’s liberating (but, yes, at times lonely). I’m often inspired by — and frequently write about — the people around me … sustainable furniture designers, clothing designers, gardeners, art curators, dancers, web designers, eco-entrepreneurs, musicians, craftspeople. I don’t have to venture far. And I like that.
January 5, 2010
“Type A” is the polite term people use to describe me. (I’ll leave the less flattering alternatives to your imagination.) I like to think of myself as organized, and so the first piece of furniture I purchased for my new home office is this fantastic file cabinet from Muji. This Japanese company has built its reputation on using earth-friendly, innovative materials. The file cabinet is made from powder-coated steel (a virtually pollution-free process resulting in a super durable product), and gets top marks for simplicity of design. I love that it fits under most desks, including the walnut veneer work table by George Nelson that I have my eye on.