This minimal wooden desk elevates your furniture functionality with a minimal all-black aesthetic!

Working from home has turned us all into desk connoisseurs if you will. We have a newfound appreciation for furniture design and this all-black wooden piece is the one we’ve been swooning over. The Ark desk was designed for a client who wanted to increase the functionalities of his traditional table/desk – a need we have all realized during this pandemic. Ark is minimal in its design yet maximizes its surface area.

The interesting thing about Ark’s design is that it can switch identities between the writing desk and the dressing table. The mirror is an optional feature for the desk, you can move its position based on what you are using it for. One of its sides is a downwards flanging cabinet included to increase storage. It provides a space for keeping cosmetics during dressing, books, or work-related files which ensures that the desktop space is clutter-free. The cabinet also keeps the items stored hidden from the front view which makes the overall visual of Ark a very clean and pleasing one!

The design of the Ark desk is based on the customer’s need for optional additional functions of the table. The starting point of the design is that the table can switch identities between the writing desk and the dressing table. The mirror is an optional item for the table, you can move its position according to your requirements during use. The side down flanging cabinet is designed on the basis of storage, which provides a space for temporary storage of cosmetics during dressing, and further saves the occupation of desktop space. The desk interprets the beautiful combination of function and form with a simple and neat modern shape.

The desk interprets the beautiful combination of function and form with a simple and neat modern shape.

Designer: Pengcheng Wang

This discreet VPN connects to your device to establish a secure connection and keep your data safe!

Since most of our workdays take place online, the use of VPNs for secure web surfing has steadily risen in popularity. Some of us may use VPNs to freely access the internet via a secure connection and to ensure that our data is encrypted and inaccessible by cyber intruders. They come in handy when working on hush-hush jobs such as upcoming campaigns or classified projects. Adding his VPN design to the mix, Ian Redcay conceptualized Black, a virtual private network and hardware solution for data protection and unrestricted internet access for the everyday user.

Traditionally, VPNs have operated as online services or expensive hardware systems bought by companies to protect their data, while remaining mostly unavailable to the average consumer. To create a more accessible solution for consumers who’d like to freely interact with the web through an established secure connection, Redcay designed Black. All but for the transparent compartment that encases Black’s internal PCB, the portable VPN device dons a jet black exterior. The subtle and contrasting combination of transparency and opacity expresses Black’s dual purpose of data encryption and open internet access.

While Black’s exterior might be a focal point in and of itself, the hardware’s exterior works with its internal function to merge aesthetics with practicality. Once a user connects to Black through their personal device, whether a laptop or smartphone, then integrated VPN processing encrypts the user’s data while managing network access to protect the user’s anonymity. In addition to Black’s main function of data encryption, features such as silent air vents and LED indicators further drive home Black’s commitment to obscurity. Through minimal branding and understated design elements, Redcay conceptualized a VPN device that is as inconspicuous and guarded in appearance as it is slick and efficient in function.

Designer: Ian Redcay

Black’s exposed PCB allows users to witness the internal processes within VPN hardware.

Black was inspired by classic and contemporary tech design solutions.

Black is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet stealthy enough to protect your data from anywhere.

Air vents are located above and beneath the PCB to allow cold air to passively cool components during extended use.

“The exposed internal circuit board provides visual context to data encryption as it occurs within the device through a winding array of circuits and internal components,” remarks Redcay.

Maintaining its cohesive brand identity, everything from Black’s purpose to its packaging remains sleek in obscurity and aesthetic.

The small nature of Black provides it with a portability feature that lets you bring data protection anywhere you go.

On the overall look of Black, Redcay says, “Black’s branding is minimal at most; a small monogram that is hardly discernible from afar, unifying the identity of the brand and function of the device through a consistent visual language.”

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These ergonomic glasses were designed specifically for Black People’s wider nose profiles

It’s weird to think that a design as basic and universal as spectacles or sunglasses can have a racial bias. The truth, however, is that like almost every product you see, spectacles often are designed for the default human, which is, in most cases, a caucasian male or female. Spectacle brand Reframd is correcting that racial bias by designing spectacles specifically for the facial profiles of Black people. The eyewear takes into account the placement and shape of the nose in relation to the eyes – features that distinctly set all races apart.

Most black people have much wider noses, causing spectacles to either pinch the nose-bridges or sit at a slightly higher level, resulting in distorted vision. “At some point, I realized the problem wasn’t with me or my face, but with the product itself,” says Ackeem Ngwenya, product designer and founder of Reframd. “It became clear that the product was not made for people like me, and that I could do something to change that.” The company was founded a mere 5 years ago, although Ngwenya says it’s rooted in years’ worth of “personal frustrations” and an “unwillingness to just accept the world as it is”.

Reframd’s range of spectacles feature a wider nose-bridge, and smaller lens-rings spaced further apart. Reframd works by using a parametric algorithm that runs in a 3D program. Put simply, customers use the front-facing camera on their smartphones to capture their “face landmarks”, reports DesignWeek “Essentially, it’s a pair of glasses that adapt in response to different inputs such as head width, bridge height, pantoscopic tilt, temple length, and more,” says Ngwenya. “These parameters drive frame creation for a particular person and that frame is then sent to our production partner and made for the customer.” This allows each frame to be custom-made for its wearer, ensuring a more personally-suited pair of spectacles that prioritize comfort and break the racial bias around the notion that a product can simply be made to ‘universally’ serve everyone, including people that weren’t considered during its design process.

Designer: Reframd

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All black desk setups that will inspire you to adapt this modern minimal trend

With 2020 becoming the year we all work from home, your setup has never mattered more. When working from home especially, it is important to carve that space out for ourselves where we can sit down, clear our mind, and focus on what needs to be done with speed and efficiency. Use these designs to get inspired, get to know yourself better, and create your own setup that rivals any of the ones featured here!

Benjamin Ong, who goes on Instagram by the name @thericebucket and is a self-proclaimed tech geek shows us his desk setup that has a dark theme with a hint of warmth running through it. Since he works on tech reviews as well as photography presets, his desk reflects the ease of access needed to quickly reach out to his camera or anything else needed to capture the moment before the light changes!

Landon Bytheway (@landonbtw), a fulltime filmmaker, content creator, and mentor is also a full-time dad and a star wars fan – all of which his desk setup reflects for him. Using a 2 monitor setup, one stacked above the other saves precious desk space while his lightsabers add a warm glow to the room. From the looks of it, his Padawan is more than excited to start his training!

I love concrete as the material of choice for a room and this setup by Garrett King (@shortstache) is the perfect inspiration for anyone who shares my love of concrete. Almost brutally raw, the setup showcases sharp corners in contrast with warm brown leather and wood accents. From the planter, the pen holder to the room itself, everything follows the concrete theme and creates a modern-looking minimal work setup!

André️ Ratola (@andreratola) literally highlights the yin-yang balance of the universe with this black and white setup. Using black as the primary color across his desk, that space is saved from being too dark with the white accessories that line the wall to his side.

One look at Spencer Ryan’s (@thespenceryan) desk tells you everything he loves at a glance – his love for gaming, coffee, and the count meter that shows his dedication to his social media pages. One thing though, this setup shows that a dark setup does not mean a dull setup. Looking at the pop of neon colors across his gadgets and we know this works for us!

Tim Chow (@tdchow) adds fun to his setup with the individual triangle-shaped lights- reshape them and light them up to add a new level to your desk setup. Special points for that beautiful mechanical keyboard that adds a contrasting focal point to the look.

Richii (@privatedesk) adds a pop of greenery to his setup with an amazing green wall! A documentary filmmaker by profession, his desk shelves are a mixed bag of things he loves – right from vintage scooter figurine, his collection of lenses, and his adoration of Steve Jobs, an inspiration for all designers.

This setup by Ronald Monte (@ronshredz) is every gamer’s dream! Dark, intense, and with a shocking use of white, this setup sets you up for some exciting gaming sessions. Game mode on.

If I could name this setup, I would name it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Designed by Jonas Grossecappenberg (@jonasgrossecappenberg) this setup shows the importance and the impact of lighting on your setup – going from a fresh modern daytime look to a badass dark look in a jiffy!

If you think making your desk setup rock is an expensive job, think again. Ty (@tytydev) has a minimal setup, using a one-arm stand to lift his monitor while preserving the most important thing for any minimal setup – desk real estate. Add in some mood lighting and some badass wallpaper designs, you have a desk setup that will energize you for the day ahead!

Want more desk setup inspiration before you set up yours? Check out these badass desk setups curated by us, for you! If black is your color of choice, check these all-black interior designs to give your home a modern minimal makeover.

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