Shell Desk is a small desk for home office use. Designed to accommodate tech devices discretely while providing an elegant interior object that is an iconic sculptural showpiece at home, that will outlive and accommodate rapidly changing technology. The Shell Desk elevates the home working experience to be an enjoyable ritual. The design intelligently combines only two materials, wood and thermoformed plastic. All of the components are designed to interlock with each other elegantly and securely. The entire assembly is held together with 6 Allen screws. It can be flat packed for shipping and is easily disassembled for moving.
Wonhee Jeong Arndt and John Arndt of Studio Gorm
One of the design challenges we faced was to reduce the number of materials used, so that it could be separated into its unique material components for recycling after its long life of service. Mainly 2 kinds of materials are used, wood and Polystyrene to construct the Shell Desk. For wood components, Ash wood, Douglas Fir wood are used. Ash is used for constructing structural elements like legs of the desk due to its strong property. Douglas Fir is used for the top work surface area and inner structure, due to its light weight property and clean, straight grain direction. The body of the desk was formed out of high impact Polystyrene using vacuum forming process. Each component can be easily separated by simply unscrewing 6 hard wares. Polystyrene desk shell parts can be put into curbside recycling for disposal, no need for requiring the manufacturer for special disassembly.
We also wanted to create a flat packable design that was easy to assemble with basic tools. Work desks are difficult to transport long distances and challenging to assemble. We addressed this problem by making it easy to manufacture and simplifying assembly process by end user. However it is designed to be robust and last for several generations of use. The size is 40"(40) x 24"(D) x 36"(H). The weight is only 36lb.
For the production of the desk, a CNC mill and the basic wood shop machinery were used to construct the legs, tabletop, and inner structure. High impact Polystyrene was vacuum formed to produce the body of the desk.
The main problem we were attempting to solve was to design a small work desk for people who work at home. Providing a creative workspace where home users can concentrate on the task at home, but making an object that fits well in a home environment rather than an institutional office.
The user is someone who requires a small home workspace, for focused office work, projects, writing, drawing or just surfing the web. Accommodating their laptop and paper while also providing storage for notebooks, writing utensils, and other miscellaneous items inside. They value design, appreciate contemporary aesthetic and good craftsmanship. It is designed to be at a midrange price point, accessible but well made.
Furniture and technology have different lifespans. Technology changes drastically from year to year but quality furniture should last several generations. The Shell Desk was designed to accommodate current and future digital tools but the technology is not integrated directly into the form. A small compartment in the back of the desk will fit any power strip, cable management and plugs. A hole in the bottom allows the main power supply to be run through, and a discreet groove in the back of the panel provides a place for cables to be run up to the desktop. Allowing the desk to accommodate for changes in technology, or the removal of technology without being married to it.
The Shell Desk is designed to be refined, simple and uncomplicated but to accommodate the user's needs intuitively. The desktop hinges open to provide internal storage which is divided into compartments via the positioning of the structural components. The top has been shaped with a rounded offset cylinder at one end which acts as a ling hinge, allowing it ti rotate smoothly without using any hardware. The small back shells provides some privacy, giving space to store personal items, but does not obstruct the user's view.