Individual desks are specifically tailored for one person and countless architects, designers and manufacturers have created their own reinterpretation, to showcase their artistic and structural ingenuity.
Take ‘Nomos’ for example, a large individual desk manufactured by TECNO and designed by British architect Norman Foster, whose desktop is supported by a high-tech, steel structure, or Egon Eiermann’s height-adjustable ‘Eiermann Table 1’, manufactured by Richard Lampert, whose frame is an exercise in structural reduction. Both these products are suitable both for home or office, although they do require additional storage space if they are to be used as an individual desk.
‘Penrose’, designed by Isao Hosoe, Lucio Fontana and Masaya Hashimoto is a dynamic, asymmetric desk constructed from glued glass plates. Bertjan Pot’s ‘Slim Office’ for Arco, an impossibly slim, wooden individual desk, takes small steps towards incorporating some storage space, with a discreet drawer and a magnetic privacy panel. Henrik Schulz’s ‘Siglio’ for Horreds has an openable desktop which hides storage space underneath, while still appearing to be a regular table.
There are of course cases where the storage is an integral and visible part of the desk’s composition. Marcel Breuer’s Bauhaus classic, Thonet-manufactured ‘S285’ individual desk supports a desktop and a chest of drawers within its graceful, tubular steel structure. Jurg Steiner’s and Dirk Uptmoor’s ‘Desk Desktop 22887’, produced by System 180, is an exposed scaffold-like skeleton which is filled out with a table top and drawers, but retains a raw, industrial look.
Antonio Citterio’s ‘Ad Hoc Office’ individual desk for Vitra rests on drawer cabinet on one side, and on steel legs on another. Karim Rashid plays with materials in his ‘Halo’ individual desk for Dune, and lays a painted MDF desktop onto open, coloured, translucent acrylic cabinets. Manfred Petri’s ‘Brand desk double pedestal’ is a large, classically proportioned, pared-down, wooden individual desk, but also includes a cable management system within.
And finally, Bram Boo designs ‘Overdose’ individual desk for BULO, whose legs appear to splay under the weight of shelves haphazardly attached on its back, as an appeal to the magic and creativity of organised chaos.