Collaborative Desk for Students

I spent my day off for Native American Peoples’ Day (formerly known as Columbus Day) hanging out at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. I was most interested in the architecture and design exhibit – Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind has me thinking about how right-brained (more artistically, less algorithmically oriented) folks are about to take over the world. One of his pieces of advice on how to get the right-half of your brain going is to get to design museums. I heeded his advice and had a great time.

While looking at some furniture I came across Jean Prouvé school desk (France, 1937). I thought the desk simply and elegantly displayed what a collaborative school was all about. It was a shared desk. One piece of furniture, two students, having to learn to work together and share a space. In my grade school days, we had double-desks, but each had a distinct area of its own, separated writing/working surfaces. This desk is just the opposite. One complete top for both seats. There are many ways to do this in modern classrooms of course, but I like the idea that this desk is fixed. There is no opportunity to pull apart (as we often do in modern classrooms). Even if you are working on separate tasks, with the Prouvé desk, you are in it together.

How many people think this desk would sell now? Anyone have furniture like this in their school?

Technorati Tags: A Whole New Mind, collaborate, Columbus Day, Daniel Pink, design, desk, furniture, Jean Prouve, MOMA, museum, Native American, France

arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (, a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.