The function of a product is typically viewed as what the product provides in terms of utility. Take the desk for example. It provides a work surface for writing or typing, storage for papers, a dedicated space for items like a phone, stapler, tape and piles of papers. To accommodate various users, some are adjustable in height and have feature that allow them to be expanded with shelves or drawers.

When you think of it, however, the function of a desk is much greater. It’s a personal space in a shared office environment. It’s a venue for personal expression. It’s a place of solitude and separation from the world. It’s a reflection of one’s personality and beliefs. It’s your home away from home. Just to name a few. When we expand on the idea of function to include more than just utility, we begin to really understand the role products play in our daily lives. And it’s through this expanded view of function that we open up entirely new opportunities for innovation.

To see more on the role of the desk in everyday life, take a look at this video…