This Desk Could Help Kids Sharpen Their Focus and Creativity

D2L and ZAK address individual needs

Believing that comfort helps boost creativity and comprehension, particularly among young people, learning tech company D2L has created a malleable desk/workspace unit designed to meet individual student needs.

A year in the making, Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo led the effort. Brian Murray, agency chief creative officer, said the desk began as "a thought exercise" to determine how best to bring D2L's philosophy to life. "D2L believes education should be flexible enough to meet the unique needs and learning styles of every student," he says.

The team engaged acclaimed Canadian industrial designer Miles Keller, who oversaw the project from conception through final construction.

ZAK interviewed students and teachers to guide the process. They learned that some kids work better alone, while others thrive in groups. So, they made sure the desk could be reconfigured to accommodate two seats for collaboration. The unit also allows students to sit or lay down in various positions. This enhances both comfort and concentration.

Observing students interact with the desk was the most gratifying part of the experience for Murray.

"It was great to watch them explore the possibilities, and home in on the permutations they liked best," he says. "One of the students uses a wheelchair, and his mother was moved to tears by the fact that there was finally a desk that could be reshaped around the chair and accommodate her son. No other desk had been able to do that for him, so we were very proud to help provide that experience."

D2L is planning to share its IP with a partner committed to manufacturing the desk, and will likely make the specs free to all.

"That way, people will be able to download the blueprints, and the design community can continue to personalize our original configuration," says Murray. "We're also hoping that this is just the beginning of applying this thought process and design exploration to other elements of the classroom that haven’t evolved over time."


Title: D2L Desk
Client: D2L
Senior Director, Global Digital Experience: David Demoe
CEO: John Baker

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
Creative Chairman: Zak Mroueh
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Murray
Creative Director/Copywriter: Jonah Flynn
Creative Director/Art Director: Michael Siegers
Business Group Director: Lisa Walton-Rixon
Account Director: Erika Dafoe, Shauna McKenna
Chief Strategy Officer: Maxine Thomas

Industrial Design: Miles Keller, Dystil

Production: Zulubot
Senior Producer: Laura Dubcovsky
Content Producer: Colleen Allen
Executive Producer: Adam Palmer
Director: Jessie Posthumus

PR: Walker Sands

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