When we see a desk or table, the automatic reaction to it is to associate it with a task. A desk is for working, a table is for eating, working, or holding decorative objects. Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Maxime Mellot created a desk that is not a desk, a table that is not a table, a teeny-tiny spot of nature in the middle of a modern home.


Turia, so named for a park in Valencia that the designer enjoyed spending time in, is a desk that was designed to be too small and too tall to comfortably work on. Instead, its focus is on encouraging the user to slow down and spend a bit of time disconnecting from the world.


The desk features an integrated bird cage, a glass fish tank, and a clay planter. The oak tabletop is equipped with a circular indentation that perfectly fits the bird cage, The desk’s legs are arranged so that one of them appears to continue up through the tabletop and into the cage, forming a perch for the bird.


The fish tank dips below the desktop and is supported on the cross braces between the legs. The clay pot allows the plant’s roots and greenery to dip into the tank. The fish feed on the plant’s roots and supply a natural source of fertilizer. The entire tiny ecosystem encourages you to unplug for a short time and just enjoy the beauty of nature in your own home.