June 1-HDC: Furniture for Freelancers

Design a piece of furniture or object for office-less freelancers.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 by 11:59 EST

How do you design an office for office-less freelancers? Flexibility, managing multiple clients, streamlining workflow and mobile working space are all challenges that call for efficiency, creativity and focus. Maybe it means designing an alternative to the local coffee shop setup, or a desk designed to be easily transportable. Perhaps it’s furniture that eliminates any possibility of distraction, no matter where you are.

For our 1-Hour Design Challenge, we’re asking Core77 readers to design a piece of furniture or object for freelancers that enables the ‘new normal’ for work. With NeoCon right around the corner, this is a perfect time to rethink office furniture for the office-less freelancer. How can design enable a freelancer to live the digital nomad lifestyle surrounded by ritualistic comforts? What are common work space frustrations of freelancers and what could you design to make it better?

In the future, some speculate there will be no work left to be done by humans (thanks robots). Until then, you have the chance to rectify all the issues that come with freelance life—so get to it!

Our judges Brad Augustine of office furniture company Humanscale (http://www.humanscale.com/), the lead design team at Grovemade (http://grovemade.com), and Core77 ‘In the Details’ writer Carly Ayres (http://core77.com/in-the-details) will be looking for submissions with excellent draftsmanship and original concepts that provide innovative and thoughtful solutions to independent, mobile professional lifestyles.


The winner of our 1-Hour Design Challenge will receive some handmade, high quality desktop swag from our friends at Grovemade!

See attached my submission for the one hour design challenge.
The design is a vegetable tan leather briefcase that sits flat and acts as a workstation when you are at a coffee shop or public workspace. The leather would have indentations and perforations built into it to create ridges on the sides that would encapsulate a laptop. The ridges would have a strip with holes perforated into them to allow for a dedicated space for pens as well as the opportunity to place something flat like a legal pad or moleskin if you seek a little more privacy in your work. Vegetable tan has enough rigidity in it that it could hold these shapes and also age really well over extended use. The briefcase also has a grab handle that sits flat and would have some type of removeable shoulder strap. Thats about all I could work out in the hour challenge!
Thanks for the challenge - this was a fun one

If you’re stumped about what to tackle in the realm of designing for freelancers, you can find inspiration in this latest post of relevant projects we found around the web!

Read more here, “4 Things to Consider When Designing for Freelancers”—4 Things to Consider When Designing for Freelancers - Core77

where does the Wacom tablet go though :slight_smile:

Mine’s a portable bag/charging station/work surface.

The premise is this: The unit acts as an over shoulder bag which can store a laptop or large tablet like an ipad pro. When you want to work, find a park bench, cafe seat, a wall, or any horizontal surface and sit down; pull your laptop/tablet out, place on top of the non-slip surface and get some work done.

The base is padded for comfort

The unit has a built in back up charging unit for your devices with LED indicator.

The leather over thin steel plate cover is held in place by an inbuilt magnetic strip which also allows it to be adjusted to different working angles.

Under the work area are air vents to aid with ventilation of your electronic device.

An obligatory cup holder is built in as is a business card slot and pen/stylus storage.

Attached my submission for the 1HDC

Submission is about a portable, single leg stool. The device provide a comfortable seat wherever the designer need.
Balancing the equilibrium with the legs, the user is always concentrated and this background task implement productivity and concentration.

The Stool attach to the body with a belt, the user is free to move around the workshop/office without worrying about the seat.

Telescopic leg (release with inner spring) reduce space when stored or not used.

Great challenge and fun topic!

alright, I’ve got one for you. Everyone knows a great freelancer needs to be a jack of all trades… here is a desk for all of the hats that a freelancer has to wear :slight_smile:

Hi, What a great idea! It really sparked my attention. I freelance for a living and actually go by a ‘nomadic approach’ with an everyday accessory.
I take it everywhere, making use of small space to a whole different level with it. I carry a lot more than people expect when they ask about it.

I did a fast and furious design exercise tonight, sketched my idea in 15 minutes
and built a model in 45 minutes using Sketchup and pulling parts off of 3D warehouse models.
My design would be intended for a traveler who is working on flights and needs a portable work station for a laptop.

It features:
Classy wood cover (preferably walnut) with embedded solar panel + USB power port fed into interior,

Multiple pouches to store electronics, hard drives, notebooks, pens, etc. (during powering / storage) and trial-size accessories for overnighters (contact solution, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc.)

Steel base construction featuring a perforated ledge a laptop would rest on;
The perforations could be large enough to hold an array of pens if sketching

‘Bias Light’ that will help your eyes when working on a laptop in the dark (dark cabins on night flights)

Suitcase handle / Backpack straps (did suitcase in this version for time constraints)

[ Deleted ]

Stand up | On the go

The freelancer on the go is always going to co-work or work on the go. This concept is designed to tackle three problems our freelancer might encounter.

  1. Even coffee shop entrepreneurs deserve a stand-up desk
  2. Co-working space is constantly full, it is time to think about co-working space infill
  3. To the mobile, outlets are king. It would be nice to work at them without taking a seat on the floor

You walk into a co-working space and it’s full, you have no time to go anywhere else. With your desk on your back you are able to set your stand-up desk anywhere you please or turn around, go to the park, and set your desk up under a tree. Tired of standing up, park it out the couch, adjust the legs to your lap or an adjacent table and you have an extended desk just for you.

Be prepared for anything that freelance life on the go might throw at you.

Every freelancers’ needs are different, so this modular design allows you to add what’s important to you, all in one neat pocketable product, ready to use whenever you might need it!

Wobbly table and poor lighting in a hipster cafe… no problem!

Impromptu presentation… you’re ready with everything you need!

Onions at lunch… worry not!

Expandable, collectable, sharable. The must have modular freelance kit for every creative!!!

LOL, love it Sophie!

Attached is my 1 hour sketch for the “Furniture for Freelancers” design challenge.

I decided to design a mobile desk space that can be taken and used anywhere you can find a place to sit. Finding a place to sit isn’t so much of a problem, but finding adequate work space is. This backpack has slots in the front to safely protect your laptop and tablets while on-the-go. The bottom compartment has a built-in work space with additional components that either slide out or swivel to expand your work space. The top of the backpack will zip off to expose the work space. The backpack will rest comfortably on your lap, when table space is not available, using your knees for stability. The design shown allows space for a medium size laptop and a tablet, as well as writing space for notes. These operable desk spaces may be customized to fit your needs and product brands. There will be a rechargeable battery nestled in the front pocket for extra juice when there are no outlets available. This product would be perfect for airports, trains, lectures, and outdoors.

Thanks Yo! Had a fun hour!! :slight_smile:

Air Stool is an office on the go design for future freelancers. The future of work will consist people working remotely in the confine of their convenient location. Imagine a future where your computers are wearable, like your VR headset.

Immersion at work could be done by just putting on your VR headgear and… a swivel stool. Imagine a swivel stool that is portable with your VR headgear slotted in it. Carrying the stool is like carrying your laptop today.

Air Stool uses advance levitation technology that can support human weight. It can swivel and keep user afloat in place and turn around as they wish when they are in virtual reality, working.

Nothing can kill a creative buzz more than realizing you’ve been sitting motionless in front of your monitor for 6 hours. I have timers on my phone to remind me to get up, walk a lap, and drink some water.

My Move Workstation concept is for the development of a small workstation that (very slowly) keeps your body moving and keeps that blood circulating. The thought is if the motion is slow enough it will not disturb your train of thought or ability to work. Meanwhile, you’re twisting side-to-side and standing up and sitting down several times during your work session. Range of motion, number of cycles, etc. could be customize-able and/or random. I’m sure there are additional movements that may also work.

I like the idea of viewable mechanical mechanisms (rather than electronic) to make more of a visual connection of how it works to the User. A small (preferably) solar-powered motor would turn the gears creating the motion for the movement.

There would be no resistance and its not intended to be a work out but increased blood flow and movement of major muscle groups can only be an improvement over sitting hunched on the front of my chair for hours on end.

Could also work for non-freelancers!

steve hassler

First time doing a 1 Hour Design Challenge - it was a fun experience! Albeit, I need to work on my speed!

Everyone has that one drawer they use for everything. The Nomad Drawer lets you take your favorite drawer with you and hang it by your side. The metal frame uses leverage to “hook” on to any nearby ledge. See attached.

Always fun to shred the cintiq and I don’t do it enough.

Beyond freelancing situated in a coffee shop, freelancers are frequently hired for their specialties by companies who don’t employ the skill in-house. In design someone might bring you in because you are the ‘Alias Guy’ they need for their smooth project. It also happens a lot in healthcare with highly specialized physicians. I was thinking how do these companies afford for freelancers coming in? If a company does not have desk real-estate for freelancers could a mobile desk fleet be a solution?

Another major trend is moving toward tablets and away from clunky laptops. This mobile work station could hold the tablet (or possibly a computer) and allow for the freelancer to travel and work throughout the day at the same unit.

I was trying to trim down existing mobile workstations to be lighter and more approachable. Feel free to poke all the holes you want.

Who can say no to the corner office?

I’ve had this idea of a simple desk lamp but never made time to sketch it. Thanks for making me do it less then an hour!