I've posted several web sites that post images of workspaces, some of creative agencies, others members posting their own desks. WOVOX is different as they promise to show you inspiring workplaces. Based in The Netherlands they are tapping into an international range of examples. Another good source for inspiration.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
ICF has introduced a very clever mobile workstation called mobi. It has a great combination of simplicity and utility that makes it an ideal desk for some of the new work patterns we've been exploring such as CoWorking. It also makes a great desk for home working.
The configuration is simple - a trapezoid work-top is anchored to a fabric covered partition on one end. This allows you to use it as a desk, or a three person meeting table. The desk end is supported by a single pedestal leg, while each end of the partition has a caster wheel. This allows you to easily move it around, like a wheelbarrow. And with its tripod stance its always stable, no rocking back and forth and no adjusting feet to chase away the tipping.
The partition has a gentle curve which emphasizes the sense of enclosure it offers. This simple desk plus partition can then be combined in a number of ways to form small work groups, or lines of independent work stations. Then they can be easily reconfigured to suit the team, or accommodate a changing task as a project proceeds to completion.
What is great here is how easy it is to reconfigure, and how the simple geometry it suggests can combine into many unique desk patterns. I think this is an ideal desk for day workstations in a CoWorking facility. Small groups can quickly join up to collaborate, loners can define their own space, and it can all be quickly moved aside for a special event or Friday happy hours. Yeah - I'm talking to you, all you CoWorkers pushing desks around this very minute!
ICF Mobi - no dedicated web page but can be seen at the ICF web site.
UPDATE: Great link forwarded to me by the Mobi marketing manager - a great introductory video posted at the site of the manufacturer Abstracta, Sweden (ICF is the US distributor):
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
I really like the way this short video by Benjamin Cox about the nature of the desk in our work life. This really gets at the ideas we've tried to explore here. The desk, the office, as tools in your work life. Perhaps its a tool that is one step removed from things we work with directly such as our computer, our pens and paper. But its no less significant for this relationship, and has the power to either enable or inhibit our work in this way.
Monday, August 30, 2010
This close-away office is an interesting product. It appears to be made of painted sheet metal, and allows you to close up your work by shutting the two halves like a suit-case on end. Then it can be wheeled away on the castors on the bottom.
A chair - I can not bear to call it a task chair - nests inside, and includes some storage in the base. They are channeling Joe Colombo's Boby rolling storage here.
I could see this being good for a home office, but also for a hoteling situation in an open loft like office space. Suppose a co-working space offered these as part of their different plans. You would rent your office case, and on days you were in the office roll it out into the open office space and set yourself up for your days work.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Looks like a sweet home office to me. A nice simple wood desk, an eames lounge for reading, and a nice window with good light.
Spotted on Flickr, there is a nice slide show at the source link - well worth following.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
A new office desking system by Gunlocke was an award winner at this years NeoCon trade show in Chicago. Interesting that Gunlocke traditionally a wood casework company is using glass, aluminum, and solid surfaces here. Makes for a much fresher look and I like when they mix the materials.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Thoughts about the workplace, why it is not made for work - its made for interruptions. Jason Fried, cofounder of 37signals, publisher of Basecamp and other work enabling software and services.
With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace optimizes interruptions and makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
One Shelly Street is a work place for investment consultant Macquarie Group in Sydney Australia completed last year. The building was designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, and the collaborative work platform of Activity Based Working implemented by Dutch consultant Veldhoen & Co.
As the name suggests the work space is organized by spaces designed to support specific activities. There are library like areas with shared tables and desks, small meeting nooks, cafe like table groupings, and traditional conference rooms, all organized around an open atrium.
This loosely structured physical workplace is supported by work practices that facilitate it. For instance incoming paper mail is scanned and distributed to employees electronically. This eliminates one source of paperwork that would gather in files that would otherwise anchor a worker to a physical location. All of the work practices of the organization have been examined and modified in this manner to support the flexibility of the workplace. Workers are able to change their work setting as it suits them and the tasks they are doing. It is in the end an effort to enable the workers to take more charge of their environment and ultimately their work.
We want to learn more about the principles that have been implemented here because there is a direct relationship between workplace design, and work culture in this example. This is really the type of thing we want to explore on workalicious.
Monday, March 15, 2010
This is an interesting pair of storage carts, that also can serve as a make-shift stool and desk. The appear to be made of bent sheet metal in the tradition of economical steel office furniture. I like the way they mimic each other's form while serving different functions.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The offices of Park Pictures (location unkown - guessing LA) are located in an old brick walled, arched truss roof, warehouse very similar to the original Eames office location.
I love the character of the space, the exposed ducts, and they appear to have a lot of space and many different settings with desks, meeting tables, and comfortable sitting furniture.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I love the idea of this - a chair that is a workstation, with storage cubbies, adjustable work surfaces, task lighting - all built in to a single piece of furniture.
What I think is not successful is the chair. To do real work for an extended period of time the chair itself needs to be as sophisticated as what we see in current front line task chairs. This clearly does not aspire to that, but as a prototype for pointing the way to a new category of work furniture it is very compelling.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Results Only Work Environment is a management structure that has emerged at several progressive large companies. It is what it sounds like. The workplace is run on the idea that the results generated by the employee are what matters - not how much time spent in the office, or what brand of suit is worn to meetings. This tends to be supported by an open and loosely structured work place where fixed desks and department organizations are less common. Some functions will always be best served by a fixed work space, but many others can be cut loose to work anywhere, and however the employee sees fit to complete their tasks. With this kind of management the company may be providing cafe and lounge like spaces for the workers, as well as a range of fixed and hotel basis desks, as well as meeting spaces. As a management style it makes a profound impact on the workplace design, and the out-fitting of that workplace. Proper elements in furniture, mobile elements, and software to manage the assets becomes very important to pull of this convention braking strategy.
Online resources for this are beginning to emerge. Large companies may or may not be willing to share what works well for them, so shared resources are important for smaller companies to get a handle on the implications of making a change like this. Some resources:
Wikipedia page on rowe, although it is mostly a promotion for CultureRx who seems to have coined the name which brings us to:
The ROWE web site by CultureRx, the authors of Why Work Sucks and How to Fix it . This was the original proposition and the authors now consult on implementing the rowe strategy, as well as sell various self help materials to help you implement it in your workplace.
Monday, February 8, 2010
We will be using Twitter to post many links we come across, but don't have enough info or visuals to make a blog post from. So this will be an adjunct to the blog - a mini blog within the blog if you wish. It will appear in the right sidebar of the blog, and of course you can always subscribe to it separately as well.
Friday, February 5, 2010
A great blog post from a morning seminar held at Citizen Space, a CoWorking community in San Francisco. The blog post at Shareable gives a good overview of the discussions that day, and it hits on many points we've been raising here.
- They mention: some "rent-an-office" businesses have re-branded themselves with coworking to attract business. I don't know that this is a "threat" to CoWorking, but the mantra of community first must really be kept at the forefront when discussing CoWorking. So much of the value comes out of the shared vision and mission of creating the culture of the CoWorking site. In fact - we are going to invent a new term right now to raise awareness of this CoWork spoofing. CoWashing. Look out for it.
- What role does corporate sponsorship play in coworking spaces? We recently looked at a new community that is sponsored by office furniture maker SteelCase. For the space it offers stability, for the SteelCase a venue where they can learn about this new kind of office environment. It can have a beneficial symbiosis.
There is much more good food for thought there:
Monday, February 1, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A new CoWorking venue in LA called BlankSpaces located in an old bow-truss roofed warehouse. A very cool setting for a workplace. No idea about how they stated up but the space is outfitted with pretty nice contract office furniture.
I have to say that I'm astounded by the launch rate of CoWorking spaces. I think I'm seeing 2 or 3 new spaces per day in my internet travels.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Baltix is a furniture manufacturer in the twin cities that offers a wide range of sustainable material choices for their tables and work stations.
Tables are available in a variety of top shapes, and leg configurations.
And tops are available in a wide range of materials that include recycled content and sustainable raw materials.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Converge, touting itself as New Jersey's first CoWorking space, is set to open in March 2010 and is counting down the days. Apparently the modifications to the space they are renting are underway and they are offering introductory deals on memberships. If you are in the NJ side of New York City this may be a good option for you. They are sporting a wide range of social networking outlets to get their word out, but here are links to two places to connect to start. Looking forward to seeing photos of the completed space.
Monday, January 18, 2010
In an interesting article appearing in feep.com linked on twitter by SteelCase the work environment at The United Way of Southeastern Michigan is described in detail. They made a move from a 12 story small footprint building with dedicated offices and desks, to a 2 story facility with open cafe like desk environments and limited fixed desks for a narrow segment of their positions. This allowed them to greatly reduce the size of their office space, maintenance and utility costs. Hot Desking or Hoteling is the way this is often described, and it is facilitated by a telephone system that routes calls to wireless phones or individuals cell phones. An interesting execution of a non-territorial office environment.
Check it out: Detroit and the office of the future
Friday, January 15, 2010
WorkBar Boston is a a CoWorking space is a collaboration between the operator of the space, and two independent workers who subleased from their space's former occupant. When the suite was going vacant they approached the owner to vest in the idea of turning the space over into a CoWorking site - successfully. A great strategy I think some others may be able to use.
They are also integrating a gallery space as we've seen in some other CoWorking sites.
At the Drexel University Library in Philadelphia there is a curious new table group in the central atrium. It is a prototype of a new collaborative furniture system that Steelcase is calling Media:Scape. The furniture is designed to promote collaborative work through the incorporation of visual display panels controlled by a central hub integral to the furniture. Users of the furniture are able to plug their laptops into the hub, use the displays to augment their work, as well as to present work on other displays connected to the hub.
This is an interesting concept, in that it is blurring the line between the furniture and the computer accessories that you could install on any office desk, or meeting desk. Steelcase is taking it on to themselves to say that "we as the furniture maker are in a better position to integrate these functions". The mounting and positioning of the video panels, and the management of their display via the hub can all be much more tightly integrated than if assembled out of 3rd party components.
But more significantly is a new type of furniture aimed at collaboration, but not just pulling our chairs together at a table - it also facilitates collaboration of our work tools - via the laptop and display integration. I think perhaps these are baby steps, and ultimately something that will be integrated more closely to us as workers. But for the current state of technology furniture is certainly the best place for this to happen and its interesting to see Steelcase jump on it.
Which brings me to my final question: Is this the first of a generation of office furniture that will be a strong match for the workplace patterns of CoWorking?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
A great promotional video for an upcoming CoWorking space in St. Paul Minnesota, in fact they were scheduled to open this week on 4Jan10. Their promotional video is very professional, very funny, and very informative about CoWorking as an idea. Well done!
A unique 3 story loft space, it looks to be a great facility.
Herman Miller has introduced an interesting small sized computer desk that is a great home/small office desk, as well as easily mates with their other more complex cubicle and desk systems. The most compelling feature of the desk is its active top that allows you to slide the work surface towards you settling into a recess in its front surface.
This sliding mechanism is a new action in active desks. We've seen tops that tilt, and tops that raise and lower, but this one is unique in that it comes forward to meet you, at once sliding, and angling to put your arms in a comfortable keyboarding position. In fact I think that this is the first desk I've seen that attempts to accommodate the habitual slouch that we often find ourselves in - in combination with one of their sophisticated chairs and a foot rest they can actually turn this into a healthy posture for working - interesting! This sort of parallels a series of low elevation lounge capable task chairs we saw coming out of Japan late last year.
The desk is innovative, yet Herman Miller has pulled from the parts bin to an extend, using the legs and under-carriage from their Avive desk system for the legs of the Envelop. No problem with that - it will help the Envelop table live better in an office populated with Avive desks.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I really really like this flexible desk system called Abak by Herman Miller. It is not a rigid furniture system like something you build cubicles out of, but rather a flexible desk system which can let you work with a series of mobile tables, or in private cubicle like spaces using clamp on screens. But you can also build spine based systems from it, and by golly you can do Big Table Desking with it too.Ad Hoc system! I'm not trying to throw water on Herman Miller's fire here - I really like what they are doing - but we have to acknowledge prior art whether or not patent and copyright is in order. I am sure it is all in order, because these guys are all pros at this making furniture thing. But any office desk system junkie (like myself) is going to recognize that a big part of what is happening here is very similar to Vitra's Ad Hoc. Now Herman Miller has other things happening beyond this similarity, and all fairness Ad Hoc was doing other things that this just won't do. Precedents are very important in design, and it does not make sense to pretend they do not exist. So hats off to Herman Miller for being bold enough to introduce a progressive desk system. Lets see if they can't do more with selling it than Vitra was able to do with Ad Hoc. Abak by Herman Miller
As we previously reported during Topdeq's clearance sale this summer, the online vendor of office furniture and accessories was closing. And close they have on December 31, 2009. From their web site:
A decision was made to close down Topdeq's US-based activities by December 31, 2009. All sales ceased as of November 11, 2009.
These metal storage cabinets are made to look like tiny shipping containers making an intersection of two of my great interests - making buildings from shipping containers and office furniture! They are apparently for sale, but I have not gone to the length to translate the web site which is in German.
They are stackable, and there are several different bases and castor options. Metal office furniture is a long standing product in the states, and in my mind this points a way towards those metal desks and file cabinets taking on a more interesting appearance. Rather than the boring flat sides we have come to expect in this commodity furniture, lets see some corrugated sides and interesting texture.
and thank you Justin
Monday, January 11, 2010
CB2 makes this simple table with a hairpin leg that has a great mid-century modern vibe. There are cheaper tables out there, but not necessarily with such a cool retro look. It would make a great table desk, or a nice gangable conference table if you put two of them together.