Josh Weinstein Design

Peekaboo Desk

How can furniture adapt to serve multiple functions in small spaces?

Peekaboo Desk is a multi-functional 18 inch cube that expands into a functional desk with a stool for people who live in small spaces without a dedicated workspace.

The Problem

Persona and Research

The persona was created to better understand the needs of the user and to hone the multi-functionality of the furniture. A survey from Nulab helped quantify the need.

A July 2020 survey of 856 remote workers by Nulab shows that 72% of remote workers do not have a dedicated work space, while 41.5% do not even work from a dedicated desk. Remote working is even more challenging for people in small apartments.

"More than half – 58.5% – worked from a desk, but more importantly, desk-workers were more likely to be productive than those who reported working elsewhere. The dining table, couch, and bed did not measure up.”

Persona – Jonathan Williams (26)

"I live in a small studio apartment in New York. Since the pandemic, I work mostly from home but I don't have the space for a desk.”

Jonathan's marketing job allows for him to work from home, but he doesn't have room for a dedicated workspace, making it difficult to stay productive when he works from his couch or dining table. He needs a space or surface dedicated to his work and a compact solution that can fit in his apartment.

Ideate and Prototype

Sketches and Models

Sketches focus on opportunities for multi-functionality, while half-scale and full-scale models iterate on a desk that expands from a collapsed cube, focusing on the technical development of how the desktop unfolds.

Final Design

Following an exploration of several ways the desk can expand and fold, the final design is the most simple and structurally sound. Peekaboo Desk uses color to create dynamic contrast and a stool is incorporated to increase the functionality. Small details include integrated handles on each side that match the shape of the stainless steel hinges. The desk is easy to unfold and when collapsed can be used as storage, a side table, or a seat.

Final model expanded into desk.

Desk expanding and collapsing.