design inspiration: hemingway’s makeshift standing desk

Among the many projects we’re working on, is creating a standing desk – or perhaps better put – a standing area for our the 13-foot desktop we’re creating, so we can sit AND stand during many ours of blogging. We’ve seen many iterations on the internet, not to mention research as to why standing while you work is beneficial. Wirecutter’s recent article rounds up much of it, and shows the lengths, and cost, the standing desk obsession can take you to.

From our recent renovation we’ve discovered that in designing anything, it’s good to keep in mind the simplest, most bare-bones iteration; the absolute bottom-line of usability balances our tendency to get so elaborate we don’t get the thing up-and-running. So we love this photo of Ernest Hemingway at his makeshift standing desk: a typewriter stacked on a box on a bookcase. It got the job done, bigtime, and reminds us to faites simple.

(It also brought back memories of reading Hemingway’s beauty of a memoir A Moveable Feast, in which he totally nails Paris:

Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. You would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe….)

via Kottke

Related posts: sighting (india): ironing board computer table
why not?: d-i-y treadmill desk
dieter roth’s workspace + the courage to ‘leave crap the way it is’
what a messy desk really means

5 Responses to design inspiration: hemingway’s makeshift standing desk

  1. T. 06.05.2012 at 1:19am #

    When my children were young, the house tiny and the chaos mighty, I did all of my writing standing up, at the piano. It was the perfect solution.

  2. 06.05.2012 at 11:58am #

    A Height Adjustable Desk or Table would be a great solution for those who need to fluctuate their sitting & standing time at their desk. With a ModTable base from, you can adjust the height of the desk to your comfort level. They are even customizable, and you can choose your own base color as well as top size & color! There is a lot of health information on the website explaining the health benefits of standing while you work. We are always here to help with your ergonomic set up, and any questions you may have!

  3. Michael Warren 06.07.2012 at 9:32am #

    I’ve tried a standing desk but found that I was shifting my weight back and forth from foot to foot. Someday I want to try building a treadmill desk like this or this fancier one. I think walking at a relaxed pace would be a nice to integrate into deskwork. I’d love to see how you adapted one to the laboratory’s style…

  4. Sally 06.07.2012 at 11:08am #

    Yeah, I haven’t quite got the hang of working at a standing desk either, but I plan to give it shot. (I’ve worked out a rig but can’t set it up until I’ve got my big desk top finished.) In past attempts, I’ve been fine just reading blogs and surfing the net, but find it distracting for writing. A friend has been a big enthusiast until he found his feet swelling up from 8 hours of standing. His conclusion: a comination of sitting and standing during the day would work best. Stay tuned1

  5. Nancy 10.04.2012 at 1:52pm #

    My daughter has a classmate who stands during class, almost all the time. Standing and learning (/writing) must really work for some brain types.

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