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Is your workspace as minimal as this one?

Mike Treff, managing partner of Code and Theory's product design group, discusses his purposefully simple desk space.

Code and Theory's New York office is a 20,000 square-foot open layout space right in the heart of Soho. Our building was built in 1886 by the Astor family and was previously the headquarters for Interview, the magazine founded in 1969 by Andy Warhol. One of the first things you notice in our office is the original 30,000-book library, which dates back to 1913.

I share an office on the northeast side of the building with Code and Theory partner David Dicamillo. (Not pictured: our ever-changing record collection and turntable, which sits to the left of my desk next to the makeshift bar, which it seems has become community property.)

My desk (1) is a USM desk, which was actually part of a barter deal from one of the first projects Code and Theory did 10 years ago. USM is a great company that has the discipline of good purpose design with simplicity. The details are critically important to all design, and USM excels at details, such as the cord holes on both sides.

I'm never without my Lifefactory BPA-free thermos (2), as staying hydrated is critical. I try to drink at least four litres of water a day. The book is a copy of (3) The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton.

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Since I don't have a desk phone, I use a Bluetooth phone handset (4) from Native Union (a gift from David). I haven't used a desk phone in years. It all started when I didn't have a desk or an office in the company because I never cared for one, so people found other ways of communicating with me. Communicating less, but better.

The vintage wooden chair in the corner of the room (5) is one of the original pieces of furniture left from the office swap we did with Interview magazine in February 2012. We kept these chairs as a nod to the appreciation of the old and new.

Mike Treff is managing partner of the product design group at New York, London and San Francisco-based agency Code and Theory. This article originally appeared in net magazine issue 254.

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