Review by Diana Hong. Images courtesy of Arnaldo Vargas
Who the hell stands at work all day? I discovered a lot of people, including some of my good friends.
There were a lot of articles about how sitting at your desk for more than 8 hours was killing your life and it kind of freaked me out. So I started to do my research and found out about the Giraffe Desk through a designer friend on Twitter, Matthew Siskin. His father, David and brother, Jared, had just finished producing a new line of desk extensions.
The Giraffe Desk is a gorgeous clear acrylic desk extension, designed to be placed on a supporting surface, raising your existing workspace while the user is standing or sitting on a raised stool.
The giraffe desk is offered in two sizes, medium (27" x 32" x 9"H) and large (27" x 42" x 10"H), with two static heights, but I was told that by the founders, the giraffe desk is also customizable. If there's a lot of surface space given to me, I generally tend to pile lots of stuff on top of it, so I opted for a more minimal, medium sized giraffe desk. The acrylic extension desk is a sturdy 1/2" acrylic that currently holds a 24" apple display, my 13" Macbook Air, wireless keyboard and mouse.
- Height Range: 9" extension (medium) or 10" extension (large) for pre-existing desk
- Max Load: 100 lbs
- Color Options: Clear - Transparent Light Sea Glass Green - Transparent Grey - Transparent Black - Opaque White - Semi Transparent or Opaque Frosted - Semi Transparent (textured) and other colors available upon request.
- No Assembly Required
If you're looking for something that doesn't look like the cousin of Chuck Close's elaborate robotic wheelchair, the giraffe desk was designed for you. The desk is made of 1/2" clear acrylic sheets that are hand cut, then assembled. So whatever you put on the giraffe desk, everything appears to be floating in space and seamlessly fits into any décor. The founders clearly designed the desk to appeal to a very design conscious audience. And for those unwilling or unable to commit to a $1500 height-adjustable sit/stand desk, this is a nice step-up from a DIY hack.
The giraffe desk is a static extension, so there are no elaborate height adjustment options, which allows for a clean, minimal design aesthetic.
From a performance perspective, it's fantastic. The desk is solid, holds a lot of weight, moving around of objects on top and after a couple of months, the desk still looks beautiful. The one thing I personally could benefit from, is some sort of monitor rotating/swivel accessory. I conduct a lot of meetings in my office and share my screen/display quite often with my team, so I'm having to move the monitor around a lot, but this was also something I needed even before the Giraffe Desk.
The height of my current Giraffe Desk is perfect. I'm not the tallest person, 5'3", but I'm also in heels 99% of the time, so whether I'm standing in heels, flats or sitting on my stool for a quick rest, the height feels just right for me. The legroom for sitting is really contingent on how high the original surface you have placed your giraffe desk, but I rarely sit for longer than 5 min.
I stand for about 6 hours of my day if I'm at my desk all day, unless I'm conducting a meeting with a large group of people in my office.
The first change I noticed, going from sitting to standing, was my productivity. There's something about the nature of standing that generates a lot more energy and movement, physically and mentally. My posture has always been ok, but everyday, after sitting all day, my neck, shoulders and lower back always hurt. There's barely any of that now and the only fatigue I feel at the end of the day are my feet, but that's usually because I'm wearing 3-4 inch heels.
The giraffe desk is awesome and I'm pretty sure these guys will do well. The last time I saw them, David Siskin, a shoe designer for the last 40 years, shared a line of hand-made woven ballerina flats to complement their line of standing desks. Woven in India, Italian soles and finished in New York; I've been wearing them non-stop.
While my one suggestion for the Giraffe Desk crew would be to consider is a way to offer a taller line of desk extensions that does not require customization, this is a great standing desk for most people and I would recommend it to anyone out there that wants something slick, sturdy and desirable.
If you're a design-conscious individual, looking for a standing desk solution that doesn't disrupt or eliminate your existing office furniture, the Giraffe Desk is for you.