A desk-and-chair set fit for the third world... and New York City

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | March 7, 2014 - 8:59AM

This simple desk-and-chair set from nonprofit furniture company Unlocked, which we found on crowd-funding site Indiegogo, is well-suited for space-starved, tool-less New Yorkers, as well as the do-gooders among us. For every set that's sold, one is donated to an impoverished school (think Toms for furniture).

And surpisingly, many of the features that make the sets workable for needy schools also make them attractive for New Yorkers. 

"Along with making these sets function for the third world we needed to make something we were happy to use everyday," creators Ian Kuklenski and Doug VanderValk, who are furniture and product designers, write on Indiegogo. "So in addition to durable it had to be beautiful and comfortable."

The sets are slightly smaller than your average desk and chair, and they're delivered as flat packs (like Ikea products) that can be assembled in two minutes without tools or hardware (the opposite of Ikea products). They can also be easily disassembled in the event of a move or a dinner party.

The sets accommodate anyone age eight and up, with several chair heights, and the desk surface fits a laptop, book and notebook. The height of the surface is set to allow you to rest your arms while typing.

As for the chairs: "The back rest was designed to fit precisely into the small of your back and has a 5 degree tilt that fits the natural contour of your spine. ... The depth and width even provide enough room for a second chair for head to head collaborative work," according to the description on Indiegogo.

The company also makes a toddler table and chairs for kids ages one to four.

The goal was to raise $15,000 by March 3. They only raised $2,132, but the pieces are still for sale on their website.

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