Serene Industries Carves Metal Into The Icebreaker Keyboard


Who hasn’t found themselves stuck at one time or another under the duress of a creative rut? Filmmaker, designer, and Serene Industries founder Denis Agarkov was wallowing professionally when he decided to do something about it. While most people might set out to pick up a new hobby or book a vacation to reignite their passions, Agarkov decided to design his own keyboard.

Agarkov’s rut-busting endeavor is The Icebreaker, a 65% mechanical keyboard inspired by the profile of the Flatiron building in New York City (certainly not the only person inspired by Burnham and Dinkelberg’s NYC landmark).

Overhead angled black and white photo of all-aluminum The IceBreaker keyboard set across desk beside other mechanical keyboards.

The Icebreaker is outfitted with a fully programmable rotary encoder on the far left of the keyboard layout, for scrolling through menus, scrubbing through video, and other similar workflow tasks.

The IceBreaker mechanical keyboard wedged into the crevice of a block of mineral.

Carved from a solid block of 6061 aluminum into a wickedly sharp peripheral, the keyboard’s knife-like profile is imagined to mimic the disappearing act of the Flatiron building when viewed from certain angles.

“I wanted to create a radical design that reveals very little at first glance – an object that can almost feel alien, yet have all of the functionality that a mechanical keyboard enthusiast would want,” explains the designer.

Denis Agarkov's notebook with sketches of the IceBreaker keyboard across a spread of pages.

Front angled view of the IceBreaker keyboard against black background

Inside, the mechanical keyboard is outfitted with full-height MX switches – the component underneath each key assigned to register keystrokes and also responsible for producing the clicks and clacks that give mechanical keyboards their characteristic clatter.

Two behind the scenes photos of the manufacturing process of the IceBreaker keyboard. On the left, a drill creating micro-perforations into a keycap, on the right two silicone dampeners for improved acoustic signature.

“The Icebreaker is a very personal project that helped me get out of a really long, drawn out period where I did not feel creatively engaged at my previous business. This project felt like a way to start a fire in my chest and feel free creative again,” says Agarkov.

Close up shot of the IceBreaker's keycap layout.

Each keycap has been meticulously drilled with micro perforations to allow LED backlighting to shine through every metal key.

Noting everyone has their own preference when it comes to feel and sound while typing, thus The Icebreaker’s printed circuit board (PCB) is designed to be fully hot swappable, meaning the keyboard can be customized with linear, clicky, or tactile switches.

Back view of the thick end of the IceBreaker keyboard.

Agarkov also embellished his keyboard with bits of prose sourced from a favorite novel, Ice Trilogy by Vladimir Sorokin.

Back view of the thick end of the IceBreaker keyboard with clamp holding it afloat.

The Icebreaker includes one additional quirky detail inspired by Agarkov’s  background in filmmaking – three 1/4-20 mounting points. Monitor arms, hand grips, or picatinny (NATO) rails are all fair game when it comes to mounting/securing the peripheral.

The Icebreaker’s specs and pricing are still being finalized ahead of its TBD launch, but Agarkov revealed via email the keyboard will feature wireless operation using a 5,000 mAh LiPo battery specified to last 2-3 months fully charged.

Angled view of the thick end of the IceBreaker keyboard staged outdoors.

The Icebreaker’s specs and pricing are still being finalized ahead of its TBD launch, but Agarkov revealed via email the keyboard will feature wireless operation using a 5,000 mAh LiPo battery specified to last 2-3 months fully charged.





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