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21 Aug 2017

Thor ter Kulve designs ultimate flexible workstation

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The Bundle desk was inspired by Japanese joinery and comes in an easy to assemble format

Category: Design

Opendesk’s new desking system Bundle started life by the side of a canal. Its designer, Thor ter Kulve, moved to London from his native Amsterdam to study product design at the Royal College of Art and found that a live/work space aboard a narrow boat was the best option in terms of freedom of mobility, affordability and having a unique relationship with the city. It also informed his design practice as this life aquatic meant space was at a premium.

As Joni Steiner, Opendesk co-founder explains: “With the desire to work inside one day and outside on the towpath the next, Thor designed the ultimate flexible workstation that can be taken apart into a ‘bundle’ of parts and reassembled with ease.” Ter Kulve himself gets down to the technical side of things: “I approached the design like a piece of Japanese joinery. By flipping various elements of the trestle and using hooks as compression fittings, everything stays firmly in place and the need for glue, screws and hinges is negated.”

Versatility is the name of the game here too with Bundle being suitable for the workplace, a studio or the home. To create a really social workspace, the trestle legs have been designed in such a way that they can overlap each other when positioned end-to-end, meaning large areas of desking can be created in different formations without minimising leg room.

Opendesk’s HQ was the location for a get together to tie in with Bundle’s launch in June, gathering together a few industry players to mull over what flexible working is and what employees really need to be happy, healthy and productive at work. Speakers included ter Kulve and Steiner, as well as Ineke Hans plus sustainability consultant Henry Pelly.

Just one plywood sheet will be enough to fit two trestles and one tabletop, meaning materials are used economically. Rather than having a Bundle delivered to your door direct from Opendesk’s east London HQ, the company’s ethos is rather different from other manufacturers. Instead the desk design is now live on the company’s website and customers can use the platform to request prices from a local maker, who can manufacture the producte on-demand (prices start from approximately £310 excluding VAT), making this an affordable and sustainable supply chain alternative. Says Steiner: “Thor’s design epitomises the Opendesk philosophy of minimal, waste, maximum efficiency and beautiful design.”

“My hope is that the Bundle desk will allow people to be more imaginative about their workspace: take your workstation apart, take it outside, assemble it and work from there for a day! It’s easy when there isn’t a screwdriver involved!”

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