Whether you spend your workdays sitting in a sleek modern swivel chair or the bed you call your "home office," you can be sure that the act of sitting is knocking years off your life. If you're not convinced by the sheer volume of articles declaring sitting the "new smoking," then the logic bears it out: sitting (generally) feels good, so it must be killing you. Last summer, Amsterdam-based architecture firm RAAAF teamed up with artist Barbara Visser to design an office of the future around this conclusion, a hollowed-out boulder they called the "Outstanding Landscape of Affordance," where not a single chair would be needed. Now they have completed a pared-down prototype of their "experimental work landscape" at Looiersgracht 60, a new exhibition space in Amsterdam.
Findings about the effects of working in this installation are in the offing, according to Dezeen, from researchers at the University of Groningen. The Netherlanders in the promo shots certainly look healthy, but maybe that's because they're engaged in the kind of work you can do on an iPad. The more compelling question here is how such a workspace might change the social dynamics of an office. "I'm going to need a printed copy of your expense report by E.O.D. on whatever crag of whatever large faceted three-dimensional shape I'm occupying at that time," your manager might say.
The designers created the space in 10 days, constructing plywood frames and coating them in a "secret render." "We had to discover what the comfortable ways of standing working are," architects Ronald and Erik Rietveld told Dezeen. "We had to construct all comfortable positions ourselves, because nobody has been busy with this topic seriously." Oh, really? Not even the hamster wheel desk guy?