- United Make
- Naco Design
The Nango-19 desk has become a staple for ‘NACO Design Furniture’ since its release in March 2020. The Nango-19 is designed by ‘UnitedMake’ in Richmond Melbourne and fabricated by ‘NACO Design’ in Blackburn. The designers pivoted rapidly by responding to COVID-19 circumstances, with an intent to cater for Australians suddenly working from home during the first lockdown. Styled with a seamless waterfall edge, artisan mitre joinery and a work surface carefully measured for any laptop or desktop setup. Each desk comes with cable management, storage, velcro power bank holders and protective feet to allow for easy installation on any surface.
As a classic Australian design, the Nango-19 features a casual aesthetic that blurs the lines between ‘office furniture’ and ‘living space’. It’s designed with customers in mind who started working from home without a dedicated study room. The prototyping ergonomic trials were evaluated with a dining chair (not an office chair) for the same reason. The desks innovation is hidden underneath the surface, where a timber cable management system is minimalist but very effective due to its “shove-in-a-pocket” user friendly design. Built of local Gippsland Messmate timber, NACO Design keeps their supply lines reliable and supports the local economy.
Commercially the desk has been a success, as it has attracted the Australian company ‘Stylecraft’ and it has been a NACO Design bestseller since its release. As designers, we are working towards a circular economy goal. With product stewardship values where the desk can be bought back, refinished or repaired by the factory. We currently use local suppliers and local manufacturing to minimize transport pollution. We design on CAD with standardised material dimensions and planning to minimise material wastage. We also designed the fabrication plans to be suitable for ‘batch 1’ made-to-order fabrication to avoid any overstocking wastage.
The UnitedMake design team set a new benchmark for visual design presentation using 3D Rendering techniques. A real to life representation of the desk was already launched as online pre-sale even before the first finalized desk was built. During a period when our store showroom was closed, photography studios were closed and short lead times were important, the benefit of rendering software presented itself. The designers also used a state of the art in-house laser-cutting machine to prototype 1:1 components within minutes. These rapid prototyping techniques saved time, money and relieved the NACO factory from time consuming iterative tasks.
The design of an effective cable management system was a primary design goal. The conventional cable management solutions seemed superfluous, wasteful, fidgety and not user friendly. They generally involved implementing add-ons of bent metal parts, plastic clips and plastic conduits. UnitedMake aimed to cater for the ‘quick-cleaner’ where done is better than perfect. Our ‘aha-moment’ came when cables were hidden away by shoving them into a narrow mouth pocket. Because NACO Design is a timber fabricator, our iterative design process removed features until the ideal balance between three forces existed; effectiveness, ease of in-house manufacture, and sustainability.