The End of Sitting by RAAAF + Barbara Visser
In our modern, tech-dependent society, a lot of jobs aren’t as active as they used to be, and we’re hearing all kinds of warnings about how sitting too much can shorten our lifespans. Design studio RAAAF and visual artist Barbara Visser teamed up to call for ‘The End of Sitting’ with a faceted installation inside the Looiersgracht 60 gallery in Amsterdam. Workers can definitely find places to lounge within this maze-like arrangement of geometric shapes, but it’s also full of comfortable ways to stand and lean.
“In our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting, while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects. The installation’s various affordances solicit visitors to explore different standing positions in an experimental work landscape.”
‘Mini Town’ Offices by MFRMGR
Small wooden ‘cabins’ scattered throughout an open-plan space create a ‘mini town’ in the offices of Polish IT company Decerto. Designed by Warsaw studio MFRMGR, the offices offer home-like comfort and privacy for workers, while large plywood-framed windows maintain a sense of connection. Though the architects didn’t intend for them to be used this way, the workers turned the window frames into shelves, using them to store items like books.
“By putting their belongings in these places, the users of particular spaces provide a specific character to each of the rooms, just as residents adjust the appearance of windows in their homes by hanging curtains and placing plants and flowers on the windowsill or hanging laundry to dry.”
Limbus Barns by Johan Kauppi + Glimakra of Sweden
Designer Johan Kauppi collaborated with Glimakra of Sweden to create ‘Limbus Barns and Fences,’ a series of partitions and mini cabins that provide separation and noise management in large open-plan offices. The slats are covered in acoustic fabric to absorb sound while remaining translucent. The barns and panels can be arranged in all sorts of different ways to increase or decrease privacy.
West Elm ‘Unoffice’ at WORKSPACE
West Elm’s WORKSPACE collection, which made its debut in 2018, aims to “unoffice” the office by bringing in the feeling of home. “The deskbound worker is a thing of the past,” says the company, which offers a range of stylish desks, mini study cubbies, seating and other items. But the most intriguing of them all is ‘House,’ based on first class cabins. With slatted gabled roofs, pull-out table surfaces and built-in lighting, these modules create intimate workspaces that can cluster into villages. Sensing a theme here? It seems clear that private yet open modules within a larger office space will continue to trend in the coming years.