'life' Intelligent Desk For Designers. (Integrated Solution)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LERsince1991, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I am an A level product design student currently going into the 13th year of school in England. (17 years old)

    For my coursework project i have decided to design a desk aimed at other designers and also the general high end market. Quite a large project but i like a challenge, i believe i am capable and i am very enthusiastic about design. Just to tell you the product will be 100% finished around early April 2009. This is a bit of research.

    My concept is to integrate everything you see on, in and under a normal computer desk. The keyboard will be integrated into the desk surface, there will be NO visible cables, docks or anything just a desk with a monitor and mouse on. The Mac/PC maybe actually inside the desk along with power sockets and other compartments.

    The purpose of this product is to overcome a few problems;

    When designing/drawing, working and just generally using a desk there is never enough space, all the equipment is in the way so this product will create a huge clear desk space.

    It will be very appealing to make your lounge work like your studio/office but without the mess. I am hoping this product will look amazingly sleek and ultra-modern.

    Make your workstation more productive with everything at your fingertips. Instead of working around your design tools, make then work FOR YOU.

    One similar product exists.

    a sleek, smart, ultra minimalist look is what I was planning, Glossy white

    As for integrating the features including the keyboard i'm thinking of making it out of 'layers' of MDF :eek: the big machine at school will be able to route out the holes in the layers so when built up it will create 'compartments' inside the desk that will properly house a lot of features like the computer and plug sockets etc...

    The keyboard will be sunk in and probably a piece of frosted glass over it to make it seamless, i might make some mechanism so the glass disappears in the desk when the computer is turned on.

    oh and the basic shape will be more like this... (quickly mocked up in seconds ;) )

    thanks for the quick feedback :)

    For my coursework i need to do some formal research in some sort of format
    I have created a questionnaire if people wouldn't mind filling them in for me it would be a HUGE help.
    Thanks for all your time, advice and co-operation!
    I appreciated that this takes time and resources so i have saved the file in a variety of formats, as long as i get the information i'm sure i can fill them out myself with the info you have sent me.

    Id like you do fill out the questionnaire in anyway that suits you best,
    It could be simply editing the picture file, filling in the block squares and adding text then saving and emailing or private messaging me.
    It could be just writing a message back to me with the question numbers and answers next to them.
    The main thing is that i get the info!
    Thank You!

    LERsince1991 @ hotmail.co.uk (remove spaces)

    I have attached the files to this thread but also uploaded them externally just in case (links below)

    PNG Link: http://www.wikiupload.com/download_page.php?id=49255
    PDF link: http://www.wikiupload.com/download_page.php?id=49253
    PowerPoint 2007 Link: http://www.wikiupload.com/download_page.php?id=49256
    PowerPoint Previous versions link: http://www.wikiupload.com/download_page.php?id=49258
    GIF Link: http://www.wikiupload.com/download_page.php?id=49259

    Attached Files:

  2. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    For a start, I suppose you could put soundsticks into the legs. Would be even cooler if they looked like gun muzzles with the small speakers in some of the holes! :cool:

  3. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2008

    I like he keyboard idea, but it may be hard to actually apply in reality. (unless you could find a "flush" style keyboard.

    Also, I think a sleek, minimalistic design would look best, with as few visible shelves and drawers as possible. Oh, and a black modern finish would instigate pure awesomeness.
  4. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for the quick feedback :)
    Any comments/advice welcome
  5. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    I would love to see dockable iPhone and iPod holes... Would look the bee's knees with them sticking upright out of your desk. Also i think the iMac would be the perfect computer to model it on as it matches the no clutter image of your desk.

    If possible i think that a USB dock would also be nice if it was sat nice and plush into the desk.

    Hope that helps!
  6. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    You should really check out the MILK

    The dock might be in little compartments like in the MILK product, but they could be on the surface for show :)
    in the compartments there will probably be a headphone/mic port in one and a USB connection in all of them (if i have 4)
    Likely to use a USB hub fitted inside it to.

    I was thinking of fitting a mac mini inside it with it accessible from underneath for upgrades and repairs. An iMac would be great but i cant afford it, i cant even afford a mac mini, still expensive really, hoping ill be able to get a donation/ or large discount...
  7. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    I am all about simple, sleek and no wires.. make sure you can hide as much of the wiring as possible..

    also hidden spots for a printer/scanner would be cool...
  8. bornandbred macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    Newcastle...but i am a Yorkshireman!

    Im not sure about the overall idea, although it is clever to have everything hidden and well intergrated within the desk, it restricts flexibility, which therefore means your market will be relatively small and so it will become a high end product that is expensive to build and very expensive to buy. Computers have been around a long time and so have desk makers...so there is lots of differrent computers (all shapes and sizes...) that will not be able to use your desk...Is your plan that anyone who wants use your desk has to buy a computer that fits that desk...people like choice and you are restricting it. If people were prepared to pay that much for a desk they would get one custom made...

    If you think about it you are telling people how they should have their key board, ipod or mp3 player, probaly printer etc laid out on the desk and even waht make equipment they should have.... people like to put things where they want...there isnt a norm...

    If I were you would I would get yourself a spider diagram going...pointing out all the problems that you find with your own desk and decide how much it would cost (as a producer) to fix those problems and then decide how much (as a consumer)you would be prepared to fix those problems...

    It appears the problems is the clutter on your desk...cables(wireless hardware or all cables meeting in one point at the back)...too much hardware...(shelves, compartments that area easily accessible) Is this already available in various forms?...yes.
  9. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for the comments:

    There will be not a single visible wire when the desk is not in use. all you see is a glossy white desk, with a monitor and mouse.
    When the desk IS in use you will see the keyboard out of its hiding place and whatever else you are using but there will still be no wires..
    Printer will be somewhere else (wireless/networked) unless you want to stick it on the desk... which you can

    Thanks for that comment. I know about the flexibility problem, and it is a big problem. I was thinking of making the market smaller by making it suitable for a mac mini (fitted inside, or an iMac) but that's quite a big step to take as its taking me away from the majority of the market, and the market that i wanted to supply at the beginning.
    I'm still working it out. I'm thinking of making a small 'bay' in the front of the desk where the mac mini would just slide into and connect to all the ports at the back because there in the right places inside the desk... but I'm still not sure.
    I think i should make it possible to access the components inside the desk for added flexibility, hmm maybe like a laptop. They have certain areas that can be removed to access certain components for upgrades and repairs. Under the desk could be areas that are removable for the same purpose.
    hmm...matchbox... have the skeleton of the desk (like a matchbox with the legs) and make the whole side slide in/out...
    Well i need to think about it anyway :)

    also i don't see it as telling people where they should put there things. The keyboard can be removed from the holder and rested on top of the frosted glass if the user wishes to use it at a different angle.
    Docks are just docks... chargers, they cant affect comfort or anything, having them at the back of the desk fully integrated or having them in compartments... doesn't matter just as long as it works, looks good and is practical.
    I believe many people are in the same situation.. looking for a desk like this with no luck... I know for a fact so many peoples desks are a right mess, unorganized and unpractical. This desk, if successful, will create a massive amount of workable space for users.

    Thanks for the feedback and comments everyone!
  10. mac-mania macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2005
    So, it might be a cop-out, but why not a laptop for the main hardware, that basically folds into the desk flush, so when its closed it looks like flat desk, but you push on it like a sping it pops up and can be opened. The entire back of the laptop screen would be the exact wood that comprises the desk so when you shut it, everything disappears.

    Then you can worry about integrating the annoying stuff, like docks and sound system and what not.
  11. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    So I've been in contact with apples Corporate Office about donating a mac mini and supporting my product with feedback and they will get back to me soon!

    It would be amazing to have apple supporting me with my product, Imagine putting that into my portfolio!

    Any more suggestions about what you'd like to see in the product
    research: what have you got at your desk?

  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008

    Speakers, lamp, a lot of cables, 2 laptops, mouse, keyboard, monitor, cell phones, a lot of messy papers, drugs, 4 external HDDs, plant, a crap load of textbooks and reference guides, camera, calculators, pen holder, lots of pens.

    BTW good luck on this project and if you can make something that fits all that stuff with elegance, I might even buy it ;)
  13. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    I'd like to keep an iPhone, iPod and Kb and Mouse, and of course screen :p

    If it was a desk-puter, then a touch screen monitor which could lay flat in the desk where you want the Kb to go, or fold up, and put a Kb infront, would be awesome. And built in track pad.
  14. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    As someone who dabbles in Industrial Design, this sounds more than a little pricey for the final product. Even the MILK desk you linked to is $4000. That shuts out 90% of the market. Designers pumping out great designs at absurd prices is commonplace. Try the angle of awesome AFFORDABLE design, and you'll be breaking some ground. This sounds like an interesting project, and I look forward to watching your progress on here.
  15. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I agree that MILK is a lot of money, I got a price list for the UK and its £1170 for the desk.

    I will probably aim my product at a price of around £400-600
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I like my desk the way it is, cables and all. I don't like how they're visible, but I like how I can move the cables and stuff on my desk wherever I want. If they weren't visible, I assume they wouldn't be movable. I take my laptop with me to do research every day, so I don't want my AC adapter hidden. I also don't want my speaker cable hidden.

    Not all of us have, or want, Mac Minis. You're going to design an expensive desk for Mac Mini owners? They likely own a Mac Mini because they can't afford a better computer. ;) Even a MBP used in clamshell mode is better.

    Also, with so many accessories going wireless, your desk won't be useful to anyone who can afford your desk in around 3 years. ;)

    Personally, the only thing that can make a desk better is to make it bigger. I have always thought that the www.milk.dk desk was overrated design drivel. I feel the same way every time it's posted here. It's like a lingering wet fart. It thinks it's cool, but it doesn't really understand how people work. There aren't many ways to improve a desk, regardless of how a desk is marketed. Make it bigger, integrate two built-in power boards (allowing for a total of 6 AC adapters to be connected) into the surface of the desk, integrate a pair of elevated built-in desk lamps, and that's it. A few drawers for pens and stuff would be good too.

    I like several of the Ikea desks. I like L-shaped tables to keep the mess of stuff that I dump separate from the work I concentrate on. When I use a big rectangular desk, which is how most desks are designed, I feel surrounded by a mess of stuff when I sit in front of it. I sit near the middle, and things surround me to my left and right. A U-shaped or L-shaped desk may allow for a larger surface area, and yet allow everything to be in reach. Anyway....
  17. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I've done a bit of work since this thread was opened and it was a bit cluttered I have opened a new thread for the final design.
    Please check it out and comment on your thoughts, cheers.



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