Most desks don’t require a motor. By definition, a desk stays rooted in place–it’s a hub where focused work and productivity occur. If you were to hop in a time machine, go back to the 1950s, and ask a business man about installing a motor into his work desk, he’d take you for crazy, because sitting at your desk hadn’t yet joined the unhealthy ranks of cigarettes and Spam.
Now, as we’re all well aware, prolonged sitting increases risks of diabetes by 112% and death from all causes by 50%. It’s a call to arms for designers, who are already creating modular and dynamic systems of office furniture. Designed by the French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, the Tyde table is a motorized, height-adjustable desk built for the tallest and shortest among us, so that desk jockeys can easily toggle between sitting down and the recommended dosage of standing up (40% of the day).
The motor comes into play when adjusting the height, by keeping computers, monitors, and clunky tape dispensers steadier throughout the process than a typical manual lever might. In the name of preserving office peace and quiet, the motor is hidden underneath the table and masked by sound-absorbing polyester fleece, making it acoustically considerate. Traces of the Bouroullec brothers’ trademark design efficiency are evident: Electrical outlets sit on top of the desk, and a cable channel and technical beam hold tools to keep the workspace uncluttered.