If you’re like me, working in a well designed environment is important to my overall mood and energy. I love being surrounded by plants and natural light, coupled with inspirational objects and artwork. My studio is like a cabinet of curiosity with material samples and design books lying around my desk, prompting me to develop new product ideas.
Ergonomics in the workplace is increasingly more important. Most of us spend hours at our desks every week but are we all comfortable enough? Are we getting back pains from bad sitting habits – I definitely slouch into my chair after lunch and then straighten up by mid afternoon. Investing in a strong padded seat with lower back support is key, as is the idea of either standing up to work for an hour or using a tilting desktop. My father, an architect, worked for years at a drawing desk in his studio. The tilted angle positioned his work closer to the upper body – better ergonomics meant more comfort over long working hours.
The British designer Edward Johnston once said “Always write on a slope… never write on a flat table: it causes the writer to stoop.” Last year we celebrated 100 years of the London Underground typeface Johnston Sans, designed by Edward Johnston. You can see the original desk used by Edward Johnston, as shown above at the Ditchling Museum, Sussex. He is an inspiration to many graphic designers today and when I started to develop the A Range furniture, I adopted the sloping worktop idea to improve the ergonomics in the workplace. Even if you use a laptop all day, it’s easy for your posture to slump so I designed the A Desk to have 2-3 angled positions. The lowest being enough to push your shoulders out when typing on a laptop keyboard and the highest so you are closer to your drawing or writing.
A clear design idea like this leads to the need for functional elements like a pen tray. We use CNC machines to mill the A Desk and it was great to reveal the ply layers exposed within the pen tray. A simple solution to stop pens rolling off the desk. The white laminate protects the tilting desktop, which is easy to clean. So, look after your back, ensure your desk is comfortable to work from… now get back to work!