The 2020 version of the Desk

S Aufrecht

After about eight years of on-and-off tinkering, the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot Desk is now a Sit/Stand/Play-Piano Desk.

From experience with my desk in the office, I realized that a standing desk you can sit at is much more useful than a sitting desk you can stand at. That is, with a high desk and a stool, you hop up to sit, and it’s very natural to hop down—without moving the desk, keyboard, or mouse if possible—and keep working. And then when you get tired, you hop up. Whereas with a regular chair and a liftable desk, inertia and gravity join forces to keep you down. I swapped in an Aeron Stool1, and now the monitors only need to slide up and down a few inches, which freed up peripheral space which led to a cascade of other changes from the last version:

The piano keyboard slides out, and the new flying2 mouse tray flips down and out of the way; other changes include splitting the counter-weight in half so each pulley is individually weighted; building a sliding keyboard tray and a box for cabling; a lot of cable management; replacing the 30” monitor with a laptop holder and swapping sides for the laptop and the Roku display (this skips the whole period of the Roku display on the horizontal arm, but that may return); a rudimentary footrest, sustain pedal, and pedal that doesn’t do anything yet but will eventually; a light to fill in the half of my face that isn’t lit by the window on the right of the desk, when I’m on video calls; a Big Red Button and a Big Red Switch Dial That Makes a Pleasing Tchkk When Rotated, for the monitors and some more lights, respectively; a pinch of LED backlighting; a vise grip for small projects; various experiments in finishing, from children’s painting efforts to Stuart Semple’s Black 3.0 to leftover steel tubes I used as drying racks and then left outside to rust on the balcony until later putting them back into use; the Matrix Cube Alarm Clock on stand; an upgrade to the monitor bar, which now slides up and down the vertical tubes much more smoothly thanks to metal sleeves; … that might be everything. As of today.


  1. The only redeeming feature of the 2nd Internet Boom in San Francisco is the abundance of used Aeron chairs
  2. Flying in the sense of extending, like a flying buttress.