Designers Barber and Osgerby, Konstantin Grcic and Sevil Peach explore what the office of today looks like in an exhibition for furniture brand Vitra.WORK, which is on show at the Orgatec office furniture fair in Cologne, features three fictional offices that showcase the diversity of today’s workplaces.They include a co-working space for nomadic workers, a flexible office that can transform overnight and an HQ that focuses as much on wellbeing as it does on productivity.
According to Vitra, the office of the 21st century is constantly changing, and increasingly merging with the public realm.”We see people working wherever they happen to be – in hotels, airports, cafes, at the beach, on the train from A to B,” explained Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra. “These developments are increasingly turning public space into a productive workspace.”
British studio Barber and Osgerby explores how spaces such as coffee shops and hotel lounges have become informal workspaces, in one of the three installations that feature in WORK.Called Shared Office, the design highlights the way that people work in spaces they have no permanent attachment to. It shows how, in this setting, the traditional desk has become redundant – the nomadic worker can just as easily take a laptop to a sofa.
“Formal work rules are dissolving, regardless of where and how we work – now frequently in hotel lobbies or cafes,” explained studio founders Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.”As a result, the desk is no longer at the centre of our work life. It is disappearing as an archetype.”