He's Using Cardboard To Create Portable Desks To Help Students In Developing Countries Study Anywhere, Any Time

"Send my encouraging message to the Indian street kids."

Students can have all of the right reading and writing materials, but without a comfortable place to study, it can be difficult to digest and retain the information they are learning. This is a reality for many students in developing countries. 

When South Korean product design student HaYoung Lee traveled to India, he noticed many of the children were crouched down in the dirt when they were studying and writing. 



Inspired to give them a place where they could study comfortably, no matter where they were, he developed the "Letter Desk."

Courtesy of HaYoung Lee
Courtesy of HaYoung Lee

The Letter Desk is a lightweight desk that's made out of cardboard. The clever design features two legs and a top, but what makes it special is the portable design folds up into a briefcase so students can carry it with them wherever they go.

Courtesy of HaYoung Lee
Courtesy of HaYoung Lee

The desk may be light enough to carry, but it will hold up to studying. Lee reports that two adults can even stand on it when it's fully assembled.

Courtesy of HaYoung Lee
Courtesy of HaYoung Lee

Lee explained to A Plus via email that he considered several things when designing the desk. In addition to being light enough for kids to carry, it also had to be affordable, but made out of the right material. In the end, he settled on the letter concept with a cardboard material. "The Letter Desk looks like a letter because I wanted to send my encouraging message to the Indian street kids," he explained.

Sending a message about the importance of learning to read and write, and giving kids on the streets the tools to do so, is especially important given that in 1994 UNICEF reported there are around 11 million children living on the streets in India — a number that is thought to be a drastic underestimation.

The desks are still not being mass produced, however, as Lee needs more financial support for the project. He has currently posted the Letter Desk on Behance, a platform that allows creatives to collaborate and gain exposure, in the hopes that sponsors, partners, or nonprofits can work with him to further develop the desk, and help give students a comfortable spot to read and study.

(H/T: Mashable)

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