Internet snarks had a field day (pun intended) when Teenage Engineering launched its new $1,599/£1,599 desk, with many (including us) wondering why it costs quite as much as it does.
Undeterred, the company has now dived a little deeper into what inspired the creation of the so-called Field Desk; it transpires that it began life as TE’s “in-house workspace solution”, with its modular nature enabling total flexibility.
“Field Desk is a part of ‘field rail system’ - a construction system that allows us to build whatever furniture we need, without any compromises, an opportunity to create our office environment exactly how we wanted it,” explains lead designer Christoffer. “We created with portability in mind, wanting a system of products that would be easy to move location when needed, evolving with its environment as the context changed.”
Christoffer was responsible for realising the plans drawn up by Jesper, Teenage Engineering’s head of design, and Guffe, head of mechanical engineering.
“Guffe created the core parts of the rail system, inspired by his background in camera rigging,” says Christoffer. “The many fixing points on a rig allow for lots of different accessories and customisations.”
While, for many of us, a desk is a piece of ‘set and forget’ furniture that doesn’t get thought about once it’s in situ, Christoffer believes that the field desk is a more open-ended solution.
“We are an office with lots of people doing different jobs with different needs, from desk work to creating production jigs and making prototypes,” he reasons. “The rail system allows for a range of add-ons using m5 screws, which you’ll see soon, but it also allows for your personal creations to be attached.”
Admirably, Teenage Engineering was keen to keep production of the desk in Sweden, where it’s based, and hit on the idea of using recycled aluminium from local manufacturer HYDRO.
“This quickly became the obvious choice for the extrusion rail system. The table top is birch plywood at the core, and formica laminated on both sides so it can be flipped over if ever worn down,” Christoffer reports.
Our hunch is that the Field Desk is more likely to find a home in the offices of design-conscious start-ups than it is in domestic studios, but Teenage Engineering is clearly convinced of its merits. “We liked it so much, we thought you might too,” is its explanation for releasing it commercially; you pays your money and you takes your choice.
Read more on the Teenage Engineering (opens in new tab) website.