Studio Furniture

The desk – your altar, where it happens

Your desk is an expression of who you are and what kind of work you do. Is it made from wood, chipboard or painted MDF, even glossy? Is it from steel or plastic? Does it have multiple levels, a keyboard drawer and an inclinable desktop? Is it self built or bought, custom or standard, recycled from another purpose for your space or a specific work desk?

There are many options and I have seen everything from superb wooden extravaganzas custom built with beautiful inlays and intricate design for a small fortune, or an old school desk from metal that still did the job.

What is the most important criteria in choosing your desk?

The most important criteria in choosing your desk is to know your workflow(s). Remember that the most important space, your immediate close range without extending your arms, is very limited and only so much equipment can exist in one physical space.

Sometimes people ask me to build them a studio desk where in the center they have a keyboard drawer, a mixer, the Qwerty keyboard and mouse, a controller and… This can not work because there are limitations such as legroom requirements and viewing angle or playing/typing angle that mean you can’t just pile layers and layers of equipment in one area of your workspace.

You have to prioritise and if you are a composer you might want your keyboard to sit in the best space right in front of you. If you are a graphic designer you might need your iPad or controller close by, alongside Qwerty keyboard and mouse or trackpad. If you work with large format drawings, your space needs to be uncluttered and inclinable.

Set your priorities straight

So you need to consider your priorities when picking your personal desk, and of course keep in mind your size: How tall you are can change a good desk into a nightmare, if it is too tall or too low, too deep or too narrow. A good way of finding your perfect match is to try with a few wooden planks, an old kitchen desk or anything that can be used to simulate your set-up. Finding the right height for your keyboard, mouse, controller, screens etc can be a challenge, but it is worth making the effort. There are many manufacturers of professional desks on the market, and finding your match should be easier than ever, as the number of models and sizes has increased considerably in the last 10 years. Sit-Stand is becoming the new standard and new materials allow for creating ever more exciting solutions.

Color and style are also an important issue, as your workspace should inspire you, help you feel good. It helps to have acoustic elements, the desk and the space itself in matching or a sharply contrasting style. If your room is a big mixture of colors, materials, and styles it will not feel great or furthering creativity.

Lastly ergonomics should be a top priority, again based on your workflow: do you need to change the position of screens, keyboard, accessories? Which tools do you work with most of the time, sometimes, hardly ever? Where do your cables run, how does everything connect? Can you come up with a clean way of wiring that allows switches when needed, hides cables as much as possible?

What kind of person are you?

Are you a wood person, or into high tech materials, do you want to impress or maximise use of space? Many important questions to ask yourself before picking your main work space element.

We have been designing desks with a passion for many years, and a main priority has been to listen to you. The dialogue with our customers has taught us a lot about how different people are, their needs, tastes and dreams.

 If you want to talk to us about your dream set-up, you are most welcome. If you have some questions, technical or other, go ahead. Even if your final product ends up being made by a local craftsman or a colleague from another furniture company, we will be happy to help you find your way through the endless possibilities on offer.

Article by

Klaus Gehlhaar

Partner at Zaor Studio Furniture.

About Zaor

We are inventors, creators, craftsmen, passionate about technology and materials and we never stop moving forward to inspire other inventors, creators, craftsmen in their passion, be it music, design, architecture, video, food, tech…