Ombee story continued......At this point, we had the idea and design of a case that turns into a standing desk, and one that holds the swivel board for increased lower body movement. But we needed a pattern for it, so we started looking at nature for inspiration, and natural shapes used in architecture around the world.
I started to realize that architects have used natural designs in their structures for centuries. First I looked at the birds nest stadium in China for inspiration. I liked the way that the stadium felt like it was a living thing, but at the same time, the pattern had no function. The second thing I looked at was the Manuel Gea Gonzales Hospital in Mexico City. It had a very interesting facade which was modeled after coral reefs. The facade actually had a function. It scrubbed pollution out of the surrounding air.
Next I looked at a bee's and the honeycomb shape they use to construct their hive.
It captivated me because of its strength and simplicity. It was actually the lightest and strongest structural design. I was also intrigued by its ability as a potential building block. What if we could make a building block style system of interconnecting honeycomb structures and make a pattern that served a functional purpose. I called it the honeycomb interlocking system. So after choosing the honeycomb pattern for our case, my buddy Mark told me about a really cool documentary on Netflix. The show was called, “The Code” and episode 2 was all about how the honeycomb design is the most efficient way to connect shapes. It's the most space-saving shape and has the lightest weight while providing maximum strength.
There really is no better pattern that is lighter and stronger using such a small amount of material as the honeycomb. Six walls all at 120 degrees in perfect symmetry is how the bees build their hives. This reinforced our decision to use the honeycomb, not just for the desk but the dozens of accessories a person would need for a modern workstation. We imagined a place for everything. The next step was to send over some initial sketches to Mira to integrate the honeycomb pattern into the design of the desk. She came back with the sketches and we loved it! It was July 28th, 2015 only 15 days after I had gone from a cardboard box into a beautifully designed desk that served a functional purpose. We were really on to something!