As we have often noted in these pages, a combination of increasing automation, advancing technology, the changing nature of industry and commerce and the associated evolution of the term “office work” will increasingly enforce changes in office furniture design. And we’re not being particularly clever or perceptive when we say such, its simply how the process works, how office furniture design has always progressed: be it the evolution of the office chair in the 19th century as ever more workers spent their days sitting in offices managing industry’s rise; George Nelson and Robert Propst’s Action Office project for Herman Miller from 1964 which sought to make American offices healthier and more productive as technology made American office work more mundane and depressing; or the rise of “hot desking” as advanced computer technology meant workers were no longer tied to one computer and one telephone on one desk.
The challenge for designers is, and has always been, to create new systems that respond to the new requirements.
The Shrinking Office Project by Rotterdam based, Royal Academy Of Art The Hague graduate Roy Yin is one of the more promising solutions we have seen of late.
Nothing more complicated than a collection of connected tables of differing heights The Shrinking Office Project offers users a range of working positions and working heights, be that individually or in a group, in an active yet unimposing construction.
No we’re obviously not proposing The Shrinking Office Project as an office furniture solution in its own right, that would be outrageous; however, as part of an integrated office landscape which features a range of what industry experts would invariably call “zones”, the idea has an awful lot of promise.
Still a prototype the ideas inherent in the concept require a bit of development before it can become truly universally applicable, not least we’d like to see it as a modular system that the user can adapt, expand or reduce as required, some form of storage would be useful and also a little more consideration given as to how one can integrate technology into the system. By which we mean of course electricity.
But regardless of such, as it stands the Shrinking Office Project is a very nice concept which explores contemporary office design in an intelligent, realistic fashion and is a project whose development we are thoroughly looking forward to following.
More details can be found at www.royin.co