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While You Were Busy Cutting Classes, This NUS Trio Built The Desktop Organiser Of Your Dreams

Most of us spend a lot of time working at our desks. But a messy workstation could mean that our productivity is affected, especially when there are dangling desktop cables around. Recognising that wires and cable chargers are the ones most likely to mess up your workstation, a team of industrial designers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently introduced their crowdfunding project featuring an adjustable desktop cable organiser called NOAH.

It looks pretty amazing, and features a clean and honest design, as the team puts it. Here’s how NOAH looks:

NOAH 1

NOAH 2

Desktop cable organisers aren’t exactly new. But what’s admirable about NOAH is the thought process that went behind it. The team came up with the form and structure of NOAH through a combination of problem actualisation and being catalysed by the Singapore tertiary education.

Jia Yi, the co-creator of NOAH, and fellow industrial designers Ryan and Kevin, are undergraduates studying Industrial Design at NUS. As part of the school curriculum, students are offered an opportunity to launch a project on crowdfunding platforms.

As the team started brainstorming on ways to help people better organise their messy tables, the idea for NOAH soon evolved from its original, unpolished “comb concept”. This initial design offered three platforms for storage, and while it was a fresh take on organising cables, it was unfortunately structurally unsound. Kevin then proposed the usage of a zig-zag structure to enhance the device’s integrity.

“It became a pivotal moment as we found that the structure had many benefits. For example, the tapered form allows users to store cables in NOAH despite it being flushed against the wall,” Jia Yi told Vulcan Post.

NOAH 3

Initially faced with doubts about whether they could launch a crowdfunding campaign, the team received a confidence boost through their university’s support as well as positive feedback when they presented their prototype.

“To be honest, as budding designers in this field, we were worried about the reception of our design from the international public but we found courage and confidence through the support from our cohort and other professionals in the field. The campaign would not have been possible without the skill sets that we learnt from the Industrial Design course in NUS,” Jia Yi shared with Vulcan Post.

team NOAH
Team NOAH

Other than conceptualising the design — which the team hope will be a hit among students or working professionals who want a better way of organising their workstation — Jia Yi and her co-creators are also involved in the prototyping of NOAH. This project spanned a duration of three months, with each prototype costing the team S$600.

“The prototyping phase was done closely with our manufacturing counterparts in China. As seasoned manufacturing veterans in China, they have rich industrial experience and they shared that this space has little or almost no competitors,” Jia Yi added.

Confident in bringing NOAH to life, the team is now bringing the campaign to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, in hopes of raising US$18,000. Most of the funds will go into the production of the mould, as well as mass production of NOAH.

NOAH Crowdfunding campaign
NOAH’s crowdfunding campaign

Those following the crowdfunding space in Singapore would have heard about the recent flop of Pirate3D, which raised millions of dollars from crowdfunding backers but failed to live up to its promise.

Drawing inspiration and lessons from Pirate3D — which is undeniably one of the pioneers in Singapore’s crowdfunding space — the team behind NOAH is confident that they will be able to deliver to their backers.

“We attribute their failure to their inability to support the global demand with their current resources. Put simply, they were unable to expand and support in proportion to the demands and ended off in a bad light. To us, this is a valuable lesson as it taught the team not to over promise and under deliver.”

“Instead, we should only offer what is manageable within our own limits.”