Plank Lapdesk

Product Design

Plank Lapdesk

** 3RD Place Winner UMBRA x Pratt Industrial Design Competition, 2014 **

The Plank allows users to work, live, eat, procrastinate in bed, and then folds away easily.  If using it to work, The Plank raises the computer closer to eye level to prevent neck injury, and gives a safe surface to rest the computer on. No more soft-bottom lapdesks that are neither comfortable nor functional. Its the only miniature desk that that actually allows you to work and procrastinate in bed.


I periodically enjoy working from my bed, especially when sick or when doing side project work. I also sometimes bring a computer to my bed to watch a movie or chat on social media. But I could never find a product or a way to do this optimally.

Leaving a laptop on a bed or straight on bed sheets is dangerous. Computers need to be able to fan and cool themselves, and sheets and comforters can block this. The heat from a computer can sometimes burn sheets and run the risk of starting a fire. As well, when drawing or reading, additional height above one’s lap is needed to prevent hunching over oneself, but also for better maneuverability.

Over the years I have tried lapdesks, stacking books on the bed and using different tray tables. All of these hacks or products failed in some way, and were never able to disappear discretely like I wanted, nor did they look particularly beautiful. When the opportunity to design a product for Umbra arose, I jumped at the chance to tackle this problem.

Dayna Mailach

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