Right now, my primary writing surface is an old kitchen table set up in my office. This is fine -- I'd rather have it than have nothing. But I do spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of desk I would have, if I had totally free choice about it. This is not the first installment of my notes on a fantasy desk, nor will it be the last. This one, in particular, was sparked by a Wiki-walk beginning at the Standing desk page, and proceeding from the bottom of that to the List of desk forms and types.
1. My desk should be of standing height, but have an accompanying stool.
On the Wikipedia page for standing desks, the various research in favor of standing rather than sitting all day is there, but the page also references claims that standing all day without pause may be worse for a body than sitting all day. It seems to me like a reasonable compromise would be to have a seat, and just try to keep the habit of not using it unless my feet need the rest.
2. My desk should have compartments. Many, organized, labeled compartments.
A lot of the desks listed on the page have some pretty cool arrangements for compartments. The Carlton Carlton House desk , for example, has a beautiful layout of drawers.
But, even better than that, the Tambour desk has cool, rolltop-style wooden slat screens that conceal the compartments in a very pretty way. Some combination of those two styles would probably be ideal.
3. My desk should have a reasonably sized, but not massive, work surface.
I would want enough space for a keyboard or a tablet on the actual surface, but ideally I would have my monitors wall-mounted in front of the desk, rather than on it. That said, I'd like enough space to work comfortably with larger sheets of paper. I'd want to be able to work with a 9"x12" drawing pad, for example. But the compartments and space above them should make room for the supplies, so they won't get in the way.
4. My desk should have whatever cool features I can fit into it.
One of the desks that came up on the list was the Liseuse desk, which has a central panel that can be adjusted to whatever angle the user wants. I think this would be an incredibly useful feature. It would also be cool if I could have the speakers elegantly inserted into the desk, and possibly have the whole thing wired for sound. It would be cool if there were a headphone jack right on the edge of the desk, or if I could take calls just by being in the room. (A webcam would also be nice, but I'd prefer that be more mobile.)
Obviously, I'd want that part to have some kind of indicator light attached, in a way that makes it physically impossible for the desk to record sound without turning on the light. I'd have no idea how that could be done, though.
5. I would make the desk myself, or with the help of friends.
I think this desk would be even more incredibly cool if I got to make it on my own. I don't really have the skills to do that, though, so I would settle for making it with the help of some of my friends who are more capable of manipulating physical objects in such a way as to add value. That way, the desk would be totally unique, I could work hard to maximize the quality and not cut any corners, and it would have a cool story. It might even last long enough to be an heirloom.
If there were a maker space very close to where I live, and if I had the money to buy the wood, I think I'd want to get started on actually building this desk. Eventually, I think it could be a really fun and rewarding project.
Unfortunately, right now, I can't even settle for buying a desk with just some of these features. But in the meantime, I can always get the plans ready enough that, when the day comes, I'll have ready all the things I need to know.