Look Who’s Gone Focal: Matthew Wardenaar - Focal Upright

Look Who’s Gone Focal: Matthew Wardenaar

August 15, 2018  |  Focal Team  |  Categories: Design

We love our early adopters! They played a huge part in Focal Upright’s successful launch and are truly at the forefront of the Upright Revolution.

We recently checked in with Matthew Wardenaar, an app developer, fantastic photographer, and Friend of Focal. Matthew went Focal in 2012 so we thought it would be cool to hear about how he’s doing, five years on. Turns out, his Focal Workstation has become his favorite tool, second only to his magical camera.

Focal Upright: What do you do? What does your day look like?
Matthew Wardenaar: My day-to-day role is managing the development of mobile apps and designing mobile app products. In my free time I shoot photography and produce freelance video. Before joining Apple and helping build one of the world’s largest ecommerce apps, I was head of mobile product at Turo. The world’s largest peer to-peer car sharing marketplace. I’ve been in the startup and mobile app space for 10 years.

FU: Why did you “go Focal” several years ago? What’s your work setup like, and how has it evolved?
MW: I went Focal back in 2012 after having worked at several startups in Los Angeles. I got tired of the same bad Staples and Ikea furniture at each of them. So I decided to invest in my own office desk and chair that I would take with me. I have since used it in several of my startup roles and then most recently working at Apple, I’ve used the desk at home. My setup has evolved to also now support my PC/VR gaming rig.
FU: If either a healthy lifestyle or innovative design played a role in the decision to start using the Locus Workstation, can you please comment on that decision? (If other factors played a role, please feel free to elaborate.)
MW: Both played a role in my decision to go with Focal. I liked the inspiration of the drafting table and tractor seat to give it a different look and ergonomic fit. It initially made editing photos on a Wacom pad comfortable. It has now evolved to a standing VR desk rig for me.
FU: Does your work in product innovation interact with your photography and video production experience?
MW: Absolutely and everyday. Working in both product and photo/video spaces is mutually beneficial. In both instances I’m telling stories and the experience gained in both gives a different perspective to approach the different problems.
FU: What are your creative habits or rituals?
MW: The only creative habit that I would say I have is that I like to start my day early and work on my creative projects. I’m not one to typically stay up late and find inspiration.
FU: You mentioned bringing the workstation to multiple work environments – what was the response of your colleagues?
MW: Most colleagues are intrigued by the concept of a leaning chair and tilting work surface. After they try my setup they typically end up ordering a Mogo seat to compliment their standing desks at work.
FU: Tell us how you use the Workstation while gaming and with VR.
MW: I recently purchased an Oculus VR Headset and found the Locus Workstation was great for using the touch controllers and standing. Most games can be played standing and using a sitting setup can be annoying since I had to always move the chair to a corner or out of the room. With the Focal setup I can tuck my headset under the desk, keep the touch controllers on the monitor stand, and the touch sensor fit perfectly in the corners of the desk. It makes transitioning to a VR game seamless and natural. Going Focal is 2012 was a bold move. We love the image of Matthew’s Locus Workstation standing proud in a sea of traditional desks!

Check out more of Matthew’s gorgeous photos!