If you’ve decided your tastes are too refined to work on a sheet of plywood precariously balanced on a couple stacks of cinderblocks, Teenage Engineering is back with another peculiar product with a barebones design: the minimalist Field Desk you build yourself using a modular aluminum rail system.
Teenage Engineering originally made a name for itself with a collection of highly capable but mostly affordable electronic instruments, including the charming Pocket Operators. In recent years, TE has lent its design and engineering chops to a series of other products, including the Playdate handheld and Nothing’s earbuds and smartphone.
The company is still churning out its own beautifully designed products, but it seems to be taking inspiration from Apple when it comes to pricing. The OP-1 Field, an update to Teenage Engineering’s most recognizable musical creation, the OP-1, is $600 more expensive than the original, while its drool-worthy portable TX-6 mixer comes in at $1,200. Even Teenage Engineering’s quirky wooden singing dolls will set you back $2,000 if you buy all eight of them to complete the set.
Keeping with that theme, the new Teenage Engineering Field Desk will set you back $1,600 for a piece of furniture you not only have to assemble yourself, but that also uses a Formica birch plywood top. But unlike the more affordable DIY furniture solutions from companies like Ikea, the Field Desk is designed to be modular and easily expandable.
The various components attach to each other using a clever recycled aluminum rail system and screws, and while it looks more complicated than the building techniques Ikea uses, the instruction manual for assembling the Field Desk is just a single streamlined page. The desk’s Field Rail system also uses standard M5 screws, so attaching your own accessories should be relatively straightforward, although Teenage Engineering is promising its own accessories for the Field Desk are “coming soon.”
The Teenage Engineering Field Desk is available now, and while it does arrive flat-packed, it’s apparently excluded from the company’s free shipping offers given that the plywood desktop almost certainly isn’t lightweight.