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Kaan Eryilmaz's Desk

Kaan is a partner and the design lead at Hipo, an international design and development agency based in Istanbul. His job is to create user-friendly and beautiful mobile and web products.

Let’s take a look.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

This is my home setup, for both work and playtime. It took some time to get to the way it is today. It was a tedious process to remove the clutter and upgrade the pieces.

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

I have to admit that the Genelecs are slightly lacking on the bass front, so I’m thinking about adding a sub bass in there.

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

We do have an office so a lot of my day is spent there, however this is my safe haven when I come home. Most of my nights are spent here, so the light setup is really important, hence the lamp behind the monitor. I find that a backlit monitor helps me work more easily and for longer periods of time.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

As a designer, the Apple Thunderbolt display is a given. I find that working on one display is a better way to stay focused so I use the BookArc by Twelve-south to hide my laptop.

What I really love about this setup are the Genelec 8020c Speakers. They produce an amazingly crisp sound. Listening to music on those sparks creativity.

The Genelecs are powered by a Focus sound card, which is not the top of its class but does a decent job. I have a penguin ceramic toy that was a gift from my mom and a black rubber duck - again a gift from a friend. I like to keep small toys around and tend to switch them around every once in a while. I’ve always been fascinated by the imagination of kids in their playtime. These toys keep reminding me to think back into the child that would create worlds out of those toys, and that allows me to look at projects from a different point of view. The books are mainly used to elevate the speakers and they are selected at random.

What are you doing to stay focused?

I love listening to music while designing. I could be listening to chill out, house, jazz or classical depending on my mood. Other than that, I think concentration is achieved not through the environment but by your state of mind. So in any setup, music is my solution to clear my head.

Here is a playlist of my latest findings (last 3 tracks are bonus):

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

I guess the backlit screen helps, but in general, having a peaceful and clean table is great.

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

I tried doing the Daily 100 UI challenges. It’s a little UI challenge you’re given every day. Helps you get your mind off things. I find that when I get back to work after doing this, the answers that I struggled with before are easier to come by. Unfortunately I had too much work that I had to give it a break. I’m hoping to get back to that. Other than that I’m trying to write more. As it turns out, as you evolve in your design career, being able to express your thoughts in writing becomes an increasingly important virtue.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

I am thinking of changing cities, but I don’t think this setup will change too much. One thing I’m thinking about is adding some plants and wood, I think nature adds a lot to your state of mind, but I have to convince my cat to not mess around with it first.

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