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The desk is a place of work and of action, but it also serves as a place to exhibit personal things and preferences. Thus it always characterizes in two ways a material and symbolic unity. The desk is not only very informative in itself, but also must always be studied and understood in the context of its cultural, gender-specific, and field-related surroundings. The focus of this study is a comparative analysis of the use of desks. Desks in insurance companies, banks, administrative authorities, call centers, and design studios in twelve countries on all continents were studied. This publication presents the results in the form of extensive visual material, empirical analyses, and critical essays. The study was carried out by the Köln International School of Design (KISD) in collaboration with universities in Hong Kong; New York; Seoul; Taipei; Curitiba, Brazil; Pune, India; Auckland; Milan; and Fukuoka, Japan.