258 - Sait Alanyali

Product Designer and Founder of PLA Concept

Sait Alanyali is a product designer based in San Diego, CA and the founder of PLA Concept which is a modern everyday product brand, mostly focused on games like chess, GO, backgammon, etc.

He has previously worked as an industrial designer for most of his professional life but he's dipping his toes in UX design for the last few years. He loves making things, experimenting with materials and manufacturing processes. He tries to share how to/behind the scenes content for PLA Concept on YouTube and Instagram.

Twitter → twitter.com/salanyali


  • The vertical chess set on the wall is a recent addition to PLA Concept. 3D printed pieces with hidden magnets on a laser engraved walnut board that can be used vertically or horizontally. We play on this set for days, sometimes weeks!
  • The other art on the wall is a poster of one of my favorite industrial designers, Dieter Rams. It explains his ’10 Principles of Good Design’. I would strongly suggest his documentary ‘Rams’ to anybody who is interested in design.
  • My main computer is a 14” M1 Macbook Pro. I do a lot of 3D modeling, rendering and video editing and this new Apple silicon is a beast!
  • I’ve been working on my 13” and 14” laptops for 7 years. Recently I got a Samsung 28” 4K UHD monitor so I can be more productive on my 3D softwares. I really love the thin bezel on 3 sides as well as the black/gray color finish.
  • I got a dual monitor arm from Amazon and turned it into a one monitor arm for now.
  • I got a generic keyboard from Amazon just to see how I’d feel about using a full keyboard after 7 years of just using the laptop keyboard. I’m still trying to get used to it :) I designed and 3D printed a keyboard riser with palm rest and a slot for my phone, daily notepads and pens. I might make a walnut version of it after testing it for a few months.
  • Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse (Still getting used to it after all those years of using just the trackpad)
  • I wanted a place to rest and charge my phone while it’s at the same eye level with the monitor. I designed and 3D printed a monitor mount for the phone that can rotate and tilt. There’s also a 3D printed low poly/geometric shell on top of the monitor arm to hide the arm and all the bolts and nuts.
  • Gray PU leather desk mat from Amazon
  • I use my headphones a lot so for the actual speaker, I just got a bluetooth speaker. I have a speaker design in my head, until then this will do :)
  • 3D printed low poly easter egg from Thingiverse
  • Custom made walnut headphone stand with wireless charging for phones and other stuff. The headphone is an Avantree Over-the-Ear Foldable Headphone.
  • I’m working on a foldable/magnetic travel chess set right now, so sometimes I put it on the desk, play with it a little bit. You can see how compact it is next to the mouse :)
  • Tic-Tac-Toe and Solitaire which I’ve designed and made for PLA Concept.
  • Walnut and resin coaster from PLA Concept
  • Chess knight bookend from PLA Concept
  • Some of my favorite books are on my desk right now. ‘Dieter Rams: As Little Design As Possible’ by Sophie Lovell, ‘Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways (Stanford d.school Library)’ by Sarah Stein Greenberg, ‘Keep It Simple’ by Hartmut Esslinger
  • Juicy Salif from Alessi. This is one of the most controversial design objects in the design community. It’s a citrus squeezer designed by Philippe Starck. Looks like an alien, not useful at all for squeezing lemons but I keep it to remind me that design is very subjective.
  • Custom made walnut tray for daily accessories and custom walnut laptop dock

What is your favorite item in your workspace?

It’s hard to decide but I think my monitor. After working on a laptop screen for 7 years, I’m just enjoying the increased space, workflow and productivity!

How do you spark creativity?

I like to watch unrelated videos or docs. Take long walks. I go through 6-7 podcast episodes a day while working.

How do you keep the work-life balance?

I don’t think I have that balance. If I was working at another company, I’d have that balance but doing almost everything while trying to scale your own company is extremely difficult and exhausting. I enjoy watching some tv show or movie with breakfast and dinner, that’s my work life balance :)
Workspace inspiration coming to your inbox soon!
Oops! Something went wrong, please try again