The Office of the Future May Have No Seats or Desks


office of the future

Sayonara sitting: RAAAF and Barbara Visser have designed the office of the future, and the results are breathtaking.

The office of the future will be influenced by two things: Technology (natch), and the fact that sitting is our mortal enemy. The traditional office is on the way out, thanks to the freedom laptops, tablets and smartphones have given our lifestyle. We can work in bed, from the bathtub, at the kitchen table, on a park bench – the world is finally our oyster. It’s no longer necessary to be chained to a desk or flip through files or wait for a fax. (And don’t even get me started on dial-up Internet.)

Now that there’s no need for a fixed workstation, we’ll finally be able to offset the impact years of sitting has had on our health. We’ve now swapped out our chairs for standing desks, treadmill desks, and desks in the form of exercise bikes – and soon, we might not have a desk either.

office of the future
Image: RAAAF

Rietveld Architecture-Art Affordances (RAAAF) and Barbara Visser have proposed “The End of Sitting,” a project that predicts how contemporary offices can encourage us all to have a more active and healthy lifestyle. Now that we know how terrible sitting is for us, we have to shift from our very current, very seated aesthetic into a forward-thinking design landscape, and this project offers us a mind-blowing option.

office of the future
Image: RAAAF

The work, which was commissioned by the Netherlands’ chief government architect and built in Amsterdam, offers a wide array of ways to work: Standing up, lying down, and everything in between. According to their website, “The End of Sitting marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring the possibilities of radical change for the working environment… wherein the chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points.” It’s one that would give you the opportunity to move around, switch things up, and find the optimal position necessary to get your work done.

office of the future
Image: RAAAF

The design reminds me of a giant rock cut – remember rock cuts, from back in the day when going outside was cool? And that one specific tree that hugged your back perfectly so you could relax and read a book? You know, the ones with pages? And the walkman that protected your favorite mix tape? Aside from the fact that I just made myself feel old, maybe this architectural marvel can take us a step (back) in the right direction.

What do you think the office of the future will look like?

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Image: RAAAF

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Krissy Brady