[Design Diary #1] Plug-in Desk Design - Concept, shape & compartmentalization

Updated: May 24

  1. The Concept :

As mentioned in the previous article (What is Sharpen Agency)

Imagine a piece of furniture that offers a good platform for any home office equipment & that is customizable to answer each person's set of needs. & most importantly update-friendly.
What do i mean by update-friendly ? Simple, i want to create furniture that i like to call "plug-in" meaning that it has one chassis that can accommodate different "plug-in" sections, each section offering different features to the user for a full-on custom experience.

With that vision in mind, i'm taking on the challenge to create the first plug-in home office furniture, which naturally should be THE heart of that room => The desk :


With the purpose to get out of the IKEA overused option to "unique" setups (which turn out not so unique since everyone is using them & they turn out very similar). The first thing i had to do is - as needed before coming up with any product - some market research & question a few people around the internet about "what makes the "perfect desk" for them", collected some great responses, one of which was the most complete and sincere from the Reddit user KittyKatMax (& i honestly can't thank you enough for that !).

To sum up the responses i've received :


  • Modularity & adjustability (heights (60cm minimum), shapes (option that curves around user) & options)

  • Optimal cord management

  • PC Accessory-friendly (clamps (no thick apron), grommets, peripherals stands, ..)

  • Sturdy (fit up to 3 monitors & all peripherals + a ragdoll 17 pounds cat without bowing or breaking !)

  • No integrated Surge suppressor or power supply (give us the freedom to buy the stuff we want !)

  • Mug holder (with options big enough to fit 11cm diameter mugs)


to answer all these needs, 2 main aspects came to mind :

1- Customizability :

To give freedom to all types of users to choose the perfect plug-in desk variant for them, the furniture shall offer full customizability.

How ? By being an optimized desk chassis offering : a back facing cable management compartment connected to each plug-in section that the desk is gonna welcome

2- Updatability :

this desk should be fully customizable to answer every user's needs ! Especially making it be open to receive continued design support (whether it be new "plug in" sections for new uses or updating the previously released plug-ins).


2. The Shape & compartmentalization :


Not going too crazy with the shape, starting off from a 200x70x15cm template to work with (Keep in mind this is only schematic 3D, the final product will obviously not look like this ! Haha) :


Desk zoning & sectioning :


As mentioned, the total depth of the desk is 70cm, 60 of that allocated to the :


- Workspace (Depth : 60cm) : main one is marked in green


When it comes to a desk's work-zones, we can divide it in 3 : Primary & secondary work-zones + 1 non-work zone.




- Cable management back-facing area (Depth : 10cm)


Connected to the work-zones via strategically placed linear & rectangular grommets (the linear one is on the desk's surface for USB & other secondary devices plugs, the rectangular ones are connected to the drawers to offer charging docks as a feature for drawers as a bonus to the compartmented organization feature they will offer



- The Central workspace piece (Main desk piece comes in variants) :

This is the main part that's gonna dictate many aspects

  • Workspace shapes :

- Standard straight plank.

- Envelop shaped plank.

  • Workspace functions :

- Standard straight desk top piece (+drawers : optional).

- Cloth mat covered desk top.

- Side pieces : Equipment-friendly plug-in tops (In-plank wireless charging, retractable headset stand, etc...).

- Artist fully-equipped drawing desk (equipment drawer) - We'll go more into detail about this section in the next Design Diary article (Design Diary #2)!


That's all for Design Diary #1, looking forward to reading your comments & will respond asap ! Stay tuned for the #2 entry of design diary coming soon.

Also, if you guys want to support this project & my journey you can do so by becoming a Patreon supporter, doing so will grant you monthly perks such as :

  • Final product blueprints.

  • Receive work-in-progress exclusive content

  • Have a say on design & feature choices

  • Get to propose which furniture/product to design next !

  • Access to Sharpen Agency's private community (Discord server) - Coming soon..

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