Back in 2007, the prolific Philippe Starck created a refreshing desk for Vitra that defied the standard right angles of office furniture. It was called the BaObab Desk, and it may or may not have been inspired by his first company back in 1968 that produced inflatable objects.
BaObab desk. Designed by Philippe Starck for Vitra.
Today, just three years after this desk's inception, I reflected upon it's cool, fluid shape on a blazing summer day. Now, perhaps it was simply a quench for modern thirst I desired, or maybe it's just the fact that it looks like an ice cube melting in fresh squeezed lemonade, but either way the BaObab desk is a piece that will stand the test of time.
Starck infused storage into the curvature of the desk with three shelves on either side including one that extends from the front left to the back of the central leg space. The design includes two circular cut-outs located at the base of each shelf that allow for electric cables to run through the desk. These modern additions answer our tech savvy quest for an easier way to maintain a simple and clean appearance.
Light yellow, light grey, red, aqua, and lime green are the five colors produced by Vitra. The BaObab's body and surface is made from polyurethane while the storage units on either side are varnished and made from durable MDF. It's generous dimensions measure in at: 1790 mm (70.5") wide, 720 mm (28.3") high, and 1100 mm (43.3") deep.
With the bold presence of Starck's design modeled after the seed from a monkeybread (also known as a baobab) tree that is traditionally known as a congregation site to meet and share ideas, the desk offers itself as its own conversation piece and molds into any space alone or as part of a larger desk configuration.
After his first company back in the late 60s, Starck's design of a desk forty years later has proven that although there no pump is needed, the apple sure doesn't fall far from the baobab tree.