The Amazon ‘door desk’ became a signature part of the company back in 1995, when Jeff Bezos and Nico Lovejoy needed to come up with an innovative, cost-effective solution for the growing team.
“We happened to be across the street from a Home Depot,” said Lovejoy. “We looked at desks for sale and looked at doors for sale, and the doors were a lot cheaper, so we decided to buy a door and put some legs on it.”
With that, the ‘door desk’ was born. More than 20 years later, thousands of Amazon employees worldwide still work each day on modern versions of those original desks. These scrappy, do-it-yourself desks are now one of Amazon’s most distinctive aspects of company culture – and just one of the things that makes us peculiar.
Inspired by these iconic desks, during lockdown Amazon invited employees and their families to get their creative juices flowing with The Door Desk Challenge – to come up with colourful, weird and wonderful designs for a mini-door that could become a permanent, full-size fixture in our offices.
We were blown away by the range of themes inspiring our employees and their families during lockdown, celebrating everything from the NHS and local communities, to the environment, robotics and fashion.
Ten prize-winners were awarded with goodies for the most inspiring and creative ideas – and we plan on displaying some of the designs around our offices in the near future.
Sophie Anderson, Senior Program Manager, Amazon, said: “On ‘Bring Your Kids to Work Day’ last year, my eldest Ava was really taken by the full-size decorated door desks hanging on the wall, so she jumped at the chance of decorating her own mini version.”
Decorating the doors was a lot of fun and having had the children at home since March, I’d pretty much exhausted every craft activity I owned so it came at the perfect time!
Paul Glover, Account Manager, AWS, said: “Our door decoration was inspired by the nurses throughout history who have done so much. From Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing during the Crimean War, to all the NHS nurses since its inception in the wake of World War Two, and the nurses today battling this pandemic – we wanted to celebrate their service and thank them for everything they do.”
Find out more about how a door became a desk and symbol of Amazon.