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Film industry creatives turn their hands to producing the world’s healthiest desk

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A talented group of creative experts at Scale Studios in Wellington have turned their hands from making film sets and props for local and international film blockbusters including Thunderbirds Are Go and Joseph Gordon Levitt’s recent production Mr Corman, to crafting the ergonomics of Limber - the world’s healthiest desk - which has seen sales quadruple following the latest COVID-19 lockdown and people returning to working at home.

While most furniture is developed and made by regular designers and manufacturers, Limber’s are different. Not only are they designed by an acclaimed physiotherapist using body-conscious design, they are constructed using a blend of leading-edge technology and artistic skill at Scale Studios’ Lower Hutt premises.

The studio specialises in allowing creatives with innovative ideas to manifest their visions into reality, via a team of highly skilled artists and makers. And with a lull in film work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Limber’s search for an ideal maker came along at a mutually beneficial time for the two businesses.

Limber’s wooden desks are of high quality, minimalist-looking design that uses expert ergonomics to reduce back pain and encourage users to work in a wide range of positions, adjusting effortlessly through a range of motion - from sitting on the floor to standing, and everything in between.

Knowing the desk would need to be made by people with a combination of expertise, technical skill and an innovative approach, Limber founder and physiotherapist Bart de Vries found himself walking through the door of Scale Studios, an incredible creative space, he says, where you never know what weird and wondrous project may be being brought to life around you.

"Once there was a very realistic model of a corpse with its guts spilling out, which gave me a fright, almost as much as the full-sized monster with a functional jaw," Bart says.

"The team all come from film industry backgrounds and have worked on projects of every size, so they have cutting edge equipment and more than enough skills to fulfil the technical aspects of making our desks".

Scale Studios co-founder Sam Cotter-Dephoff says the studio works with bespoke, custom designs.

"Anything that doesn’t currently exist, we’ll have a go at bringing it to life," he says.

The studio uses an array of techniques and technologies for its projects, from laser and CNC cutting, which is used for Limber’s desks, to 3D printing and ‘scratch’ building using recycled materials.

Sam says COVID-19 had put a dampener on film industry work, but Limber approached them at just the right moment to help sustain the studios throughout.

"We’ve been busy working on Limber - the desks have really taken off and it’s easy to see why," he says.

"I love the successful design elements, the minimalist approach to functionality - they’re a gorgeous design and they’re made from sustainably forested birch timber.

"The team here at Scale are committed artists, and it shows in the high calibre of our products, including Limber. They’re here because they love it and artistry is in their DNA - the end products speak for themselves".

Bart says he designed the desk because sitting or standing for too long isn’t good for overall health and it’s the movements in between that are vital.

"Ultimately, we wanted to create a way of living, and working, where health happens without conscious effort - so we started by creating the world's healthiest desk," he says.

"We’re thrilled to be having it made to the highest quality at one of the most creative places possible".

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