Framework Episode 9: Workspace Wars

Sparks fly as Jason works on a project on Spike's Framework.
Framework (Photo: Spike)

Stand up, sit down, fight, fight, FIGHT! The Framework builders have to make standing desks for CB2 in the penultimate challenge.

We’re down to four builders on Framework: Former frontrunner Freddy, jilted but jolly Jory, something alliterative Jason, and “Don’t make me the new Rahil” Lacey. The crew takes a field trip to CB2 to learn about this week’s challenge1, which is to build an adjustable standing desk for the typical CB2 customer. The main criterion for critique will be proportion.2

Here are the proposed designs from the concept review:

 

Jason's Desk (Screen: Spike)
Jason’s Desk (Screen: Spike)
Freddy's Desk (Screen: Spike)
Freddy’s Desk (Screen: Spike)
Lacey's Desk (Screen: Spike)
Lacey’s Desk (Screen: Spike)
Jory's Desk (Screen: Spike)
Jory’s Desk (Screen: Spike)

The actual designs end up looking nothing like these. Jason’s desk has metal legs reminiscent of art studio stools with a push-button mechanism for lifting the surface. Everything about his design is executed with precision and is the first piece produced on the series that I would seriously consider buying. I’m a little miffed it isn’t available, actually.

Freddy’s desk was a disaster. His redesign was described by everyone as having the shape of an oversized treadmill, which is not wrong though I would have gone with “frame for the nose of a monorail.” He tried to develop a lifting mechanism using counterweights, but it didn’t quite work. The actual desk part was barely functional even before the mobility aspect came into play.

Lacey’s desk also went through a complete overhaul. She developed a turning mechanism that involved turning a crank/drill combination which was both ugly and cumbersome. It took 10 seconds to move the desk half an inch, and the transition from sitting to standing desk is supposed to be 12 inches. As much as I would like to get a good arm workout in while at work, ain’t nobody got time for that. Also, Lacey upholstered(?!) the desk for whatever reason, making it look like a director’s chair disguising itself as a couch.

Jory’s desk had the same legs as his original design, but moved the crank mechanism to the side. The functional portion of the desk drew heavily from a writing desk aesthetic, particularly the heaviness. While the piece was aesthetically pleasing, the transition between sitting and standing was a bit too labor intensive.

Jason earned his win this week without question, with Jory as the obvious runner-up. Freddy got dinged for his general inconsistency and reaching the peak of his design potential. Lacey was criticized for failing to execute her vision in yet another challenge and for a piss poor upholstering job. Seriously, stop upholstering things—it is way too time-consuming and serves as a breeding ground for nitpicks. In a split decision, Lacey was sent home, despite having a stronger design aesthetic than Freddy.

I could be upset about this decision—I think Lacey’s desk was an F+ to Freddy’s F—but it won’t change the outcome of who will ultimately win Framework. According to the preview for next week’s finale3, the ousted contestants will come back to help the finalists with their build. The “I’m not here to make friends” strategy runs into trouble when it becomes synonymous with “I’m here to make enemies.” In other words, this is a battle between Jory and Jason, which I hope will lead to some interesting pieces.

  1. Meanwhile, I learn that CB2 is a furniture store, and not some woodworking conference. Suddenly that part of the grand prize makes sense.  
  2. DRINK!  
  3. And the Skilled Trade Reality Competition Bylaws  

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About Mike McComb 628 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv