Under the Table

Folia’s sliding trays allow even the chronically disorganized a clutter-free work surface.


HEIGHT: 30 inches

WIDTH: 28 inches

LENGTH: 66 inches

There are those who work at pristinely tidy desks, with ample writing space and office supplies situated at perfect right angles. And then there are the rest of us—the ones who arrange papers in tilting piles or spread them out so that anything we’re searching for may (at least in theory) be found with a quick visual sweep. But can the right desk tame an organizational misfit? In 2009, Christy MacLear, a self-professed “pile person,” decided to give it a shot by hiring the industrial designer Leon Ransmeier to build a desk that would accommodate her mounds of paper, each of which corresponded to a different project at Philip Johnson’s Glass House, where she was then
the executive director.

Ransmeier’s solution is the Folia desk, a sturdy aluminum table with trays that slide out like drawers but have open sides and fronts like shelves. The design addresses MacLear’s habits by keeping her stacks hidden but eas-ily accessible and the work surface relatively clutter-free. Although the desk doesn’t mirror the aesthetic of the Glass House, Ransmeier found the modern landmark to be inspiring nonetheless: “The house was Philip Johnson’s actual home, and he lived there and used it as such for many years,” the designer says. “Folia attempts to capture the openness and austerity of the house and to be both aesthetically and physically durable.” Here, Ransmeier talks more about the ins and outs of his desk, available through Wright 21.

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