Desk – Music and Sound Design from Aaron Trinder Film:Motion:Music on Vimeo.

This video from Imaginary Forces is a short film directed by Mark Gardner that interviews various creative types on the idea of a “desk.” Not just the plain old place you throw down your laptop and toil, but the concept of what a desk really is. Is a desk just the place where you work, or can a desk be an entire creative vision, a space in which new ideas are formed and the world changed? Being desk people ourselves, we at Hyperallergic are particularly fascinated by the possibilities of a workspace and what creativity it can foster. The designers, architects and creatives interviewed for the video speak of the physical desk as well as their mental state when working, the separation between a “home desk” and a “work desk.”

The whole video brought to mind for me the idea of an artist’s studio as well. In some ways, desks are our own mini-studios, places to think and imagine, clean slates to work from or messy mood boards to draw inspiration from. The desk and the studio are getting closer and closer these days as well, as new media artists use their computers to create and others to coordinate production work. A desk — or a desktop for that matter — can certainly be as messy as a studio as well, check out Einstein’s paper-piled desk as an example of a cluttered genius mind.

Some of the people interviewed in the short film are designer Massimo Vignelli, design critic Alice Twemlow, novelist and journalist Kurt Andersen, designer Søren Kjær, and director of Vitra Home Alfred Stadler.

Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...