The Desks of the Industrial Designers

This week, we went around to the desks of industrial designers around studio. The things we found were equally as unique as what we found on the architect's desks. Find out what we found on the workspaces of five designers below.


Defne Kansu, 2nd year

What is one thing on your desk that you love?

My marker holder. I actually made that from plexiglas; I laser-cut it. It’s custom. I love that. You can carry it, it has a lock. So you can flip this down to lock it. It says my name on it. When you lock it, you can’t take the pens out.

Why do you organize your workspace the way it’s organized now?

It’s not organized… I can't organize because everyday, we work with multiple materials so we don’t have a set. We don’t just work with paper, we don’t just work with drafting stuff and chipboard and foamcore the way architects do. We have to have a bunch of materials. To be able to fit all that in, I put an organizer on my desk… I tried to put a rack. But at some point you’re like, oh. Screw this. I can’t do it. I have a coffee maker and instant coffee on my table because literally, instead of blood, I have coffee running through my veins. Other than that, I have a bunch of foam because that’s life. And I have my markers, my markers that all sell for $5 each and cost me half my tuition.

Stephen Lynn, 4th year

Describe your workflow and process.

I like to do a lot of sketching, and I like to do that on my desk. I like to space out my sketches so I can look at all of them and take pieces from each sketch and keep working and iterating on that while also looking at my laptop. And I use this back wall (which is not really my desk), but I hang stuff up. A lot of computer work and analog work. I guess my desk is split in half that way -- I always have a dedicated space for a laptop and a somewhat dedicated space for more analog things.

What are three must-haves for your desk?

Laptop, cutting mat, and… I think my plant. I need that symbol of life to give me life. He fell over the other day he’s still good.

Veronica Orecchia, 3rd Year

What is one thing on your desk that you love?

I have to say my books. Just having something that inspires like the words of an industrial designer or any sort of person you aspire to be like just at your desk reminding you why you’re here. I think that’s very important.

What are three must-haves for your desk?

So I always have post-it notes just everywhere. That’s just how I think, whether it be for laying out different possibilities or for making a checklist of things to do. It’s always so satisfying taking a post-it note and throwing it out. I always really enjoy having the random weird things on my desk because it makes it feel a little bit more homey because I spend so much time here. Looking over and seeing my green elephant and that sleeping emoji pillow, it makes it feel less like I’m doing work. Third thing: markers. Markers are always a must, especially with sketching and everything.

David Shaltanis, 1st year

What is the weirdest thing you have on your desk?

Probably my random collection of everyone else’s objects. I like to steal a bit of people’s items. These are Kylie’s scissors, these are Elisa’s pens. This is Harrison’s saw. But I like to go around, talk to people, sometimes I ask them before I steal them. It’s like a social thing.

Why do you organize your workspace the way it’s organized now?

I kind of like having everything out on the desk. So, it’s really not organized. It’s kind of funny that you say organized that way. It draws inspiration, I like to look back at older projects.

Stephen Claffy, 4th year

Why do you organize your workspace the way it’s organized now?

Right now it’s a little bit messy. I always have to feel like, I have ideas under my nose. So, surrounding myself with a little bit of chaos makes me feel like there’s something going on.

What is one thing on your desk that you love?

Definitely my laptop, it’s got everything on it.


Interviews by Chloe Molinos, Alexandra Pena and Jee Yun Kim

Photographs by Chloe Molinos and Alexandra Pena