Evolution Of The Desk (1980-2014)
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Whether you like it or not, the fact is, we depend on technology more than you know. How has your desk evolved over the last 35 years? Do you still have that Rolodex in front of you? Probably not. What about that clunky dictionary, or the answering machine? Technology (and the cloud What Is The Cloud? What Is The Cloud? The Cloud. It's a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. What is the cloud, exactly? Read More ) has replaced most of our desktop items.

In this video produced by Harvard Innovation Lab, genuine vintage items were sought after and purchased in order to recreate the look and feel of an 80’s work desk. Head over to BestReviews to check out the video.

Evolution Of The Desk (1980-2014) evolution of the desktop 1

Evolution Of The Desk (1980-2014) evolution of the desktop 2

Evolution Of The Desk (1980-2014) evolution of the desktop 3

Evolution Of The Desk (1980-2014) evolution of the desktop 4

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  1. Dmitry T
    September 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    But it's not a workdesk - it's clerk's/administrator's desk.
    Real people like engineers just moved their trusty panel boards - now overloaded with drawings/printouts- to the side as they mostly work their double 21+' LCDs connected to heavy-duty workstation.

    PS Printer? It must be right behind photographer -now it's connected to printserver so single one suffice for entire room.

  2. KT
    September 26, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Finally some much over due love for the furniture that makes all of our tech toys and tools so fun to use. I'd have never thought about writing an article about desks. I agree with Skagon, an ashtray is a must (in my household) as well as: Beer coaster, paper tablet and pens/pencils, and (at least for my wife and I) strategically placed firearms and extra mags). On certain nights there are a few other necessities placed on or around our desks, but it would be inappropriate to discuss in detail what they are on this forum!

  3. skagon
    September 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    It's also missing an ashtray and cigarettes... at least up until a few years ago.

  4. R A Myers
    September 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Why the Rolodex?
    1. It doesn't crash irretrievably. Yes, it's fallen and scattered cards from Perdition to breakfast, gotten coffee spilled on it-no more water soluble felt tip markers.
    2. It's faster than lighting off the computer for a phone number.
    3. It's faster than finding a phone number on my cell phone.

    There are similar uses of non electronic storage that have the same characteristics.

    One of them are written directions that I carry in my wallet for places in DC (District of Confusion) and other places like NYC and PHL, that I don't travel often enough to, from Way Sout' Joisy, to remember the twists and turns.

    I don't keep any of my computers on 24-7. I've never had an electro-mechanical failure since 1979. I've gone through H-89/Sym-1/DOS/Windows/Linux and finally Win & Linux laptops. I did and do use surge suppressors and constant voltage transformers.

    Bob Myers

  5. Stephanie
    September 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Ummm, I still use Elmer's Glue...

  6. Michael
    September 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    In 1980 we had a typewriter, calculator and a telephone. It took another 3 years before some of us even got a terminal.

  7. Dan
    September 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Technically the final image is true of my desk; those are the only things on or near my desk that are actually mine. But since my family fills every empty flat surface with random crap, the result looks quite different.

  8. NRK
    September 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    False, not a 1980 desk.

    The original 128K Mac came out 1/84, and looking at the keyboard I think this is a Mac SE that come out in 1987.

  9. Keith E
    September 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Impossible! And, by the way, how many bosses would like to see a desk like the last one?

  10. laurensl
    September 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I don't want a picture of my dog in the cloud. It's gonna get stolen!

  11. Alex D
    September 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I like how the aviators are the one thing that never change or go away.

  12. Jon
    September 24, 2014 at 6:05 am

    The photos are missing a printer. Weird that they kept the rolodex so long, and never had a printer. I haven't used paper address books since the mid 90s (when i got my Newton). There are lots of little issues with these photos, but the lack of a printer is, IMO, the most glaring one.

    • Alexis C
      September 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      I was going to pointy that out, too.

  13. Demola
    September 24, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Why did the picture of the dog go?

    • Ørjan Lønningen
      September 24, 2014 at 7:11 am

      It's in the Cloud

  14. Bakari Chavanu
    September 24, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Haha, good one. I would love to have the last desk setup. I go 98% paperless.