A Better School Desk

The Teacher’s Pet desk is designed to replace the desks you’ll find in most schools around the world – molded plywoods with aluminum supports. The problem is once those desks get vandalized or damaged, there’s no way to fix them without replacing the whole desk which is too costly. The Teacher’s Pet desk is made of components that can be individually ordered, repaired, replaced, and upgraded. They also have channels down the sides to hold a whole host of accessories which can be ordered to suit particular class needs.

Designer: Katherine Fakonas


  • Zach says:

    Looks like a great concept, the only thing is that they dont look easy to store (besides totally taking apart)

  • Joaquim says:

    good idea in fact but very incomfortable
    several problems will appear such as vibrations and the fact that you have the back of a person right in front of you…

  • juju says:

    ola quinzinho! com vai a vida?

  • angel says:

    this wouldnt work, the desks would have to be built or bolted to the floor so it wont fall over, since the desk and seat of 1 student wouldnt be connected and that would be the only way it would keep from falling forward or back. it would mean your seat would be pressing down on the lap of the person behind you, so they’re holding you up unless the table is bolted to the ground, then if it IS bolted to the ground heavier, taller, or shorter students wouldnt be able to adjust the desk and seat to be comfortable. Interesting take on a “problem” that doesnt really need to be fixed, but i doubt it would even work in practice

    • kfakonas says:

      This could be a plausable argument, however I believe that you misunderstood the concept. The desk is in fact connected to the ground by steel supports that would slide into the “leg” of the desk and chair. you can see this in the exploded view. The environment that this was designed for is a middle/elementary/high school class room, which currently do not provide adjustments for people of different sizes. This concept tries to help the situation some by at least allowing for extra leg room for taller people. In my experience throughout school I found that the desks were in terrible condition and sought a way to try and keep the classroom clean. Although this concept may not work entirely in practice, I felt it was a step in the right direction to get people thinking about the classroom in a diffrerent way.

      • Dan says:

        I can see the steel supports in the floor, but even then, if you have a heavy person sitting in that desk, I don’t see how such a small support would hold that immense load. Also Angel didn’t misunderstand the concept, the desk is technically attached to something attached, or bolted to the floor. I can just see this being very unsafe with all of the stress the desks would undergo. Also, if floor plans had to be changed for a classroom, this floor support idea would pose a big problem. The desks are basically a permanent feature of the room with now allowance to move them around, only remove them from their stands, which also protrude from the ground. You would be wasting an entire room’s functionality if you ever wanted to change something. Also, a real world situation would require some form of adjustments for those who are of different body shapes. Your claim that elementary, middle, and high schools not providing adjustments isn’t 100% true; most institutions have desks that have adjustable legs and some even have plain chairs that aren’t fixed to the desk. It has a very nice design, but its not practical at all.

  • cmm says:


  • Amber and Valerie says:

    We are also trying to find a way to redesign the student desk…..and so far….this is the best idea that we have seen in our research. We are in high school right now and we think that this would be a very smart and practical invention. It would save a lot of space in the classroom and be comfortable for the students. So whoever came up with this design, don’t listen to the other people, this is a great idea.

  • Bryan says:

    I see a lot of comments like “this wouldn’t work because…” For one, it’s a concept, and the great thing about concepts is your left to assume things like… of course they would be bolted to the floor?!?! What were you thinking? A more realistic point of conversation is, kids are fat. Well, at least some are, so to adjust for fat kids how easy will it be to move them forward or back, should classrooms just install a couple rows for the porkers or should we encourage them to do a crunches before sliding in?

    These are the things that I ponder…

  • Scilly Guy says:

    I agree with Bryan, and I think that was the point angel was trying to make too, the supports which hold them up are fixed to the floor so you can’t move them forward or back, like with a normal desk and chair. I can also see kids stealing bits if they are removable, even if it requires a screwdriver I can see some kids doing that just to be annoying. However I do like that concept of replaceable parts for the desks, not that I really see it as that much of a problem. The point raised by Joaquim about vibrations I can see being important. I can see that the seat support is not directly connected to the desk support behind but if someone was to bounce on their seat I am sure you could get enough movement to move the desk behind you. Unless there is no flexibility in the material, and so where would the energy go, it can’t be brittle unless its really strong! But anyway its a concept so do you just ignore these things???

  • Jenn P. says:

    It’s a nice idea, and I do like the concept itself… but there’s a problem. What about kids with ADHD? If the person in front of or behind him/her is moving around, they won’t be able to pay attention in class worth anything. If there were dampers to keep the vibrations caused by other students down, then it’s plausible. And I think it would be easy enough to add in a way to adjust the height, but it would require you to break up the flow of the design a bit.

    You could possibly add in a slot underneath the desk, too, for a book or papers for the specific class, and there would be plenty of room underneath for the student’s backpack. It always bothered me in school that there wasn’t two separate places for that sort of stuff. It could be done with minimal changes to the design’s overall flow. It’d allow students to put their notebooks away quickly for a quiz, or the teacher could pass out tests before class in the slots so that students can get the full period to work on it (the teacher would have to keep a close eye on them–maybe just extra scrap paper for them to use could be stored there?). It’d also be useful if the school provides laptops for the students, or could be used to store handouts for the day’s lectures.

    The desk might have to be a bit wider or have more support at the base, but with some of the composite materials that we’re coming up with today, it should be possible to make the desk fairly strong. Got any structural/mechanical/vibration engineer friends? They could look at more problems with the design. You’ll need dampers and some way to change the height for younger students…. But that might be as simple as switching out different sized cushions. Yes, go with the cushions. That’d be the best way to adjust height and keep the strength of the structure (and if you can make the cushions stackable by having a slightly solid bottom/grooves in the side, that’d work wonderfully). Stackable desktops, to some degree, could be used to raise the height of the desk, too. And when one surface gets too scratched, you just switch it with a desk surface underneath it.

    Also, I love the idea of having slots alongside the desk. It’d be wonderful to have the entire desk to work on while having pens/pencils/extra lead within easy reach. It’s a great idea, and I’d seriously look into it further. It’d be fairly easy to mass produce if the majority of the desk shape is the same thickness. With the interchangeable components, it’d save even more money for the schools.

    Hmm. One more thought. You could possible even wire a power outlet or two down one side along with an ethernet connection port. New schools are being wired underneath the floors, with power outlets on the tabletop. Lots of room to improve this design to be used in new (and even some old) schools.

  • Jenn P. says:

    And as to having people’s backs straight in front of you–make this for a lecture hall that tapers downwards, and raise the height of the desk some to account for this. Then you won’t have trouble with the line of sight problems that might occur otherwise.

  • Jenn P. says:

    Hmm, my other comment was too long and never showed up. Knew I should’ve copied/pasted it before pressing post.

    The design is feasible, but has to have dampers to address the vibrations from students in front of and behind the person sitting. There’s also a need to make it adjustable, which I think could be done by making the desk/chair portions stackable. That way, when the surfaces get scuffed up, you can simply replace the top one with one of the bottom ones, and do not have to immediately order a new one.

    Adding in a cubbyhole under the chair would be a good idea. Kids could stow away their laptops (as more schools and students have them), or papers/notebooks specifically for that class when there’s a quiz to take. Sometimes, there’s only one class set for some of the more expensive in-class assignment books, and they could easily be stored in that little shelf as well. The design would still leave plenty of room for the backpack to be stowed underneath.

    There’s room to add in an Ethernet port or power outlet module that could be near the front and run down the side of the desk, then wired into the floor. I’ve seen that used on tables in labs at school, but not desks themselves. It’d be useful as we become more technology oriented (but not every place needs it, hence the module part).

    Hope that helps! Try to find a structural/vibration engineer to help you out with this. This concept is more than just feasible.

  • Jenn P. says:

    Actually, that design would just allow you to hardwire peripherals, period. Calculators or even some of the devices they’ve been using so that the instructor and class can interact dynamically. The cords would have to be covered by some extra material to keep the streamline of the design and keep people from tripping on them, but that would be a small sacrifice. The wired stuff could possibly be wired into the module directly or wired into the module by a cord. That, however, would require more than just a desk to be designed, so that might be better for “later improvements”.

    You may also need more support on the bottom, and some additional support than just at the floor level. But the design has a great start.

    Also, I disagree with them not being very easy to store. You wouldn’t store an entire desk, but the parts of the desks separately. If they’re designed right, similar pieces could make fairly large stacks.

  • Nicole says:

    Nice concept. I think the idea of having replaceable parts to the desk is a good one, I don’t think the concept you currently have is workable however. In a classroom desks typically move and sometimes stack to make cleaning and storing easy. Also you have accessibility concerns with having one uniform desk type in the classroom, as well as fire and disaster concerns with having lines of desks that don’t move. The desks you have remind me a lot of church pews or older school desks in design.

    I think a better idea would be to have movable desks with replaceable parts. Or to create desks made of highly durable materials that are vandal resistant.

  • Michael says:

    Congratulations, you’ve re-invented the wheel (although I admit there may be some improvement over previous designs). Desks of this type have a history stretching back at least 100 years, if not more. Even as late as the 1980’s in my high school (of early 1900’s construction, the original Stuyvesant High School in New York City, on 15th Street), we still used desks of this configuration.

    Even now, in the new Stuyvesant building on Chambers Street, there is one classroom that was transported intact from the old building.

    Now, the original types of these desks were generally constructed of cast iron with wooden seating surfaces and desktops, but they were of essentially the same conception. They worked fine then, and they’ll work fine now.

    One thing, I would suggest adding a more ergonomic back rest.

  • Zach says:

    great idea, but i can only image how fast students would take these apart. My only other critique is that the chair it’self doesn’t look too comfortable. Other then that the chair is still a great idea, and it couldn’t desinitally save schools time and most of all money.

  • Idea is creative but mind give a bit privecy.

  • rob says:

    this idea is just a copy of old school house desks with modern materials

    in a high school this would never work
    the person sitting would drive the person behind him nuts shaking his desk

  • Sam the Sham says:



    1- Vibrations.
    2- Seat cannot go up or down.
    3- Back cannot go back or forth.
    4- Desks cannot go higher or lower.
    5- The units cannot be moved.
    6- Leg room is fixed.
    7- Cleaning and maintenance is a brute nightmare.

  • Hello
    i would like to know the types of the School Desk you have in your shop and also the price for each and the method of payment you accept thank you and waiting for your reply

  • summer n. says:

    That desk is so sweet and cool.

  • Man says:

    I wanna move my seat in a bit. The guy behind’s none to pleased, though…….

  • Blazer says:

    a design that was stems and sticks to a form, totally ignoring the function.

  • Nicko says:


  • SL says:

    Ok, maybe it was just my seriously-underfunded California school experience, but almost my entire k-12 education was spent in a desk with a chair bolted to it by a long metal bar along one side, pushed against the person in front of me and leaning against the person behind me. So I would tend to ignore the seats are non-adjustable/leg room is fixed complaints. Storage is definitely a bigger issue, however, especially in the younger years when children tend to use their desks as lockers…

  • Sonny Angela says:

    Teacher’s Pet?

  • Brennan says:

    Am I the only one who sees the ridiculous flaw?

    I attend highschool currently, and I’ve always thought desks needed an upgrade, but this won’t ever work.

    Of course, the points you brought up above are valid (vibration, spacing etc…)

    But they don’t free stand! You need two items to make one kid’s desk.

    Since the school frequently moves desks in and around for exams (all the desks go to the gym, where they can not be bolted down, of course) and, frequently, the teachers will move the rows or kids move desks together to work collaboratively.

    Bolting to the floor will not work. Stand alone desks are much easier.

  • teacher says:

    Well, I see the concept as a clean design, no one has broached the subject of grouping. I teach, but students are only in thier respective rows 1/3 of the time, with desks being moved about to form various groups within a 90 minute HS timeframe. (our school is going for new furniture) I'm looking at trapazoids, but they all seem flimsy…students are hard on furniture…it needs to be movable, compact. Students like adults are all shapes and sizes…we need a bit of comfort,adjuability, and versitility in designs.

  • teacher says:

    Well, I see the concept as a clean design, no one has broached the subject of grouping. I teach, but students are only in thier respective rows 1/3 of the time, with desks being moved about to form various groups within a 90 minute HS timeframe. (our school is going for new furniture) I'm looking at trapazoids, but they all seem flimsy…students are hard on furniture…it needs to be movable, compact. Students like adults are all shapes and sizes…we need a bit of comfort,adjuability, and versitility in designs.

  • Thanks for finally talking about >A Better School Desk Yanko
    Design <Liked it!

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