Ravi Patel & Karan Desai, founders of Oclo Designs, join us to discuss the design process in creating the chic and practical Oclo murphy bed. Far from the outdated and poorly functioning murphy beds of the past, the Oclo design not only folds away neatly, but includes a desk, reading lights, ambient lights, switch panels, and a plenty of storage.
Oclo Bed shown in Sapphire Edition.
Raymond Paul Schneider: When did you first start to develop this new collection?
Ravi Patel & Karan Desai: The idea to design our own Murphy bed was first planted in 2014 as graduate students in New York University. At the time, a Murphy bed seemed to be an ideal solution to maximize the limited space and make it more functional, but searching for the right one turned out to be the least ideal process. I surveyed the market and what I learned was that all of the available designs were antiquated at an unfair price point and required third-party contractors for delivery and installation. Four years later in September 2018, we finally began crafting the product I dreamed of with a long list of requirements. We realized how underrated Murphy beds are and took inspiration from their functionality to create an end-to-end experience through Oclo. Our goal was to create a sleek and functional design that enables people to create a lifestyle around it.
Raymond: What was the overall timeline from conception to achieving the final design?
Ravi & Karan: Right around 2 years. The design process of the Oclo bed started in September 2018 and took about 10 months to finalize the design including all the in-built lifestyle features. We began development in July 2019. Since, it took five different prototypes over a year to perfect the product and bring forth our vision to reality.
Oclo Bed in Carrara, in Queen size, shown open.
Raymond: What was your initial inspiration, and where did the idea(s) come from?
Ravi & Karan: We were truly inspired by the functionality of the Murphy bed. It is an underrated furniture design that has the potential to completely transform a living space. However, Murphy beds are often forgotten because of their outdated design. We also began paying close attention to our daily routine and lifestyle to understand what is needed on a daily basis to operate in the most optimal state of mind. We identified some key components that we wanted to incorporate into our design: a desk, reading lights, ambient lights, switch panels, and a lot of storage.
Raymond: Please describe your overall creative and design process.
Ravi & Karan: Our creative and design process took time, patience, and a lot of back and forth. We were dedicated to creating a design that allowed people to create an experience in their own home. Every feature in the Oclo was strategically incorporated into the design to ensure that the product brings a lot more into your life outside of creating space.
Oclo Bed shown in Nerissimo.
Raymond: Did you have a specific audience or theme that you had in mind?
Ravi & Karan: Given that the Murphy bed industry is stuck in the 70s with the vintage-looking models, we wanted to ensure that the Oclo had a strong lux appeal. We offer the Oclo in three different colors (editions), and two sizes (queen and king) to resonate with our client’s preferences.
Aside from the lux appeal, we also wanted to ensure that we catered to an audience that values functionality, organization, and convenience on top of the appeal factor. Hence, all the lifestyle features come inbuilt into the Oclo unlike the need of customization among most Murphy beds in the industry.
Raymond: Please describe the methods, tools, and materials you used to develop and prototype this design?
Ravi & Karan: We wanted to use the best materials available to develop the Oclo. Our wood is E1 eucalyptus plywood with a Melamine coating method to ensure protection
from adverse environmental impacts and longevity. Our mechanism is super spring, which is an industry-leading patented method allowing the Oclo to stay halfway open in the transition phase. The durability of the materials and the timeless design truly makes the Oclo an heirloom product that can be passed on to the next generation.
Oclo Bed in Carrara showing the functionality and seamless way the exterior console folds flat and stable leaving enough room that you don’t have to clean your workspace off before using the bed.
Raymond: Did you utilize a new technique or technology to conceptualize this product?
Ravi & Karan: We did! Murphy beds are generally made from wood and gas piston mechanisms. For the Oclo, we had to develop the big metal frames on both sides of the bed to be able to incorporate the in-built lifestyle features. The reading lights, switch panels, and all storage would not have been possible without this conceptual custom development.
Raymond: Please describe any challenges that affected the design and perhaps steered you to an entirely new final design?
Ravi & Karan: Although there were not any major changes in the final design, we did face every challenge possible as we were on a path to create something that had never been done before. With the dedication and persistence of the team, we were able to establish a workaround for every challenge.
Raymond: Describe your overall brand DNA and Ethos
Ravi & Karan: Oclo Designs aims to redefine the way we live, work, and play through furniture that fits your space and lifestyle. Our brand is centered on organization, convenience, and functionality to help create experiential luxury. To be able to curate this experience on a daily basis in your own home is truly empowering.
Photography by Rayon Richards.
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