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Guest LERsince1991

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

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Guest LERsince1991

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 ;) 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 :P )




Right then lets get down to business.

The reason I have posted this here is because i am after everyone's opinions & advice since there is thousands of people here in the situation.

What would you like to see integrated into the desk?

What would you like to see as optional additions, nice extra finishing touches available?

What equipment do you have on your desk?

Would you be interested in a product like this?

What would you expect to pay for something like this?

What would motivate you? (help in optional features available)

If I don't have the funds to get my hands on even an old mac mini what can i do? would apple donate an old refurb to such a project since they support educational things. Who can i contact?

Also just any questions and opinions!


Ive probably missed out a lot of things... hard to get everything down

Thanks for your time





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




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Guest Skint

I will post more comments when we see progress... but first things first... DONT call it the I-Desk... im sick of everything that begins with I... lol

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Guest LERsince1991

haha... yes i can agree with that comment.


I wasn't actually going to call it an iDesk... its used to often and boring

just haven't thought of one yet.


I might call it...



But that was just off the top of my head,

anyway the name isn't important yet

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hehehe...I'm sick of those I products too...when I create a toilet I'll name it I-@#$@#$...


getting back to the topic...sorry but it just don't remind me of an I-something...take a better look at these products line to see if u get the idea...



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Guest Nephtis

-How about integrating a pen tablet/monitor? It might be a little out there though.

-Lots and lots of usb/power outlets. I use them often.

-Rotation of the desk to be able to draw better (could work well with the first idea)

-A seperate small "pillar or desk" on which to place prototypes or something similar.

-A storage space for markers (and not just a box where you can throw them in)

-A place for some sheets of paper

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Guest db_design



What ever you do dont call it "i" something, everyone hops on that bandwagon. I think the concept you are trying to comeup with is a good one, I know what you mean about lack of space when sketching, etc.


For research purposes, I would start to have a look at what other designs are out there. Obviously you've started this by looking at the MILK desk. Try looking at Coroflot and Yanko Design and carrying out searches on desks. There should be plenty of different concepts out there. The link below is one I found on Yanko that you might like the look off:




In terms of what I've got on my desk, at the moment its the basics (screens x 2, printer and mouse) as well as a graphics tablet. I think besk idea would be to have the keyboard and also a graphics tablet like you say, in hidden compartments or maybe included in the desktop itself.


USB ports are also quite handy to have. You could include these in the desk top. Makes things a bit easier than contiuously putting mem sticks in and out of CPU. Also you could include the speakers into the desktop as well to make life a bit easier.


Do however bear in mind that the CPU should be easily accessible so you could perhaps put this into another compartment elsewhere on the desk.


What I would like to see is perhaps having a Start/Power button on the desktop which when pressed, powers up your CPU and could trigger a mechanism which reveals the Screen ( Could be hidden in desktop then appear when triggered) and also perhaps encorporate a thin LED strip throughout the desk which lights when in use (a white desk with a neon blue strip would look fit! :D ). This might be a bit complex for your A Level project but if pulled off right would get you some good mark - alot of DT School teachers give you good marks for something thats different!


Hope this helps mate, check the websites for someinspiration!



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Guest LERsince1991

Thanks for the comments :P



Ok Ok its not called the iDesk anymore... :) wasn't called that anyway, just used it as an example :D



Ive thought about putting a graphics tablet on/in, it might be possible but ill have to see if there's space... I will try as it would be a nice touch, pushing forward the fact its for designers.

I like the quick flow of comments.

There shall be a built in USB hub and many USB and power outlets, all integrated.

I was thinking of some way to store all the drawing essentials, markers pens etc... and i think its very necessary to have this.

There is likely to be an a4 size bay (actually a bit bigger...) for paper and/or a laptop



Thanks for ALL that feedback and advice. Its funny because a lot of the things you've said to do are what i am doing... same wavelength, same ideas!

Ive looked at more than just MILK, i have two desk that I've written about in my c/w at the moment. Im subscribed to Yanko Design so i never miss a single design, its a very inspiring website.

LMAO, I had a dream where I pressed the power button and the keyboard 'emerged' from the desk, 3 monitors arose from the back of the desk.

I will definitely have a power button integrated in the desk as well. This could be a problem connecting to the pc/mac though, I had an old desktop which was 'un-repairably' broke but still turned on so i had a play with it and made an external power button (not very safe) for a little while. But if there is a new/external pc its not an option to solder a switch onto the circuit. Any existing USB power switches or does anyone know how to do this?

Ive not thought about the lighting side... tends to be a big part of a design but always an afterthought. but since you reminded me... there shall be light! (LED's) (i thought about a light-box but that would take up a lot of well needed room inside the desk...


Thanks for all the feedback, research and ideas... great forum!


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Guest LERsince1991

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?



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Guest clark

the problem about integrated perihperals is the lack of user customisation, and also the fact that if you want to move your keyboard slighty over to the left to sit more comfortably- you cant, because it's fixed to the desk surface


Integration is nice in a way, because as you say you can hide cables etc, but getting a good balance between integration and customisation is key- after all, unless you happen to know what the perfect set up is for every single user out there i'd suggest leaving them with a little bit of scope to arrange things how they want


start a lot earlier than you think you need to

I was doing a similar project to you, very similar in fact- but in the end I realised I only had 2 weeks to design and make the thing so my plans for an integrated cintiq never happened, in fact none of my ideas happened and it ended up being 'just a desk', albeit a very nice one that won me another design competition, but still.

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