He realized that to harmonize with this natural behavior, a height-adjustable table should flow up and down effortlessly. “When you’re paying people to do things cognitively, you don’t want something like a switch to interfere with their thought processes,” he said. That insight led to the paddle-shaped switch he designed for Renew, which moves up and down so intuitively that people can use it without thinking about it.
Another challenge was eliminating the visual chaos created by power and data cords. Alexander’s solution was to route cables invisibly through Renew’s leg and into a trough beneath the table. Modeled after a spice rack, the trough uses a shallow space and tabbed organizers to display all of the cables at once, letting people find the one they need at a glance when it’s time to unplug or update technology.
Most other tables use vertical steel blades for structure under the work surface, Alexander said, “Those can be wicked to find with your kneecaps.” Instead, he positioned Renew’s legs farther out, adding valuable swing room for your legs. He also softened every angle under the table into a smooth, planar surface that lets knees glance off harmlessly.
Designing the world’s best sit-to-stand table meant reconsidering every surface—including the bottom. “When you have a person standing next to a person sitting, the underside of the table is at eye level,” he explained. “Making it as visually tidy as the rest makes sense. It speaks to a level of fit and finish that the product deserves.”