As companies and countries slowly realize that happiness (elusive as it is) is one of the most important indicators of economic health, more emphasis is being staked on workplace ergonomics than ever. Co-working spaces are installing climbing gyms, and designers are producing desks that discourage you from actually sitting.
But there’s only so much a pedal-powered desk can do if the office environment is uniformly dreary and oppressive. Which is why one creative agency decided to reinvent the idea of a “desk” entirely. Instead of installing a metal slide or set of pinball machines, the New York-based Barbarian Group built one giant “superdesk” out of plywood and a single pour of resin. The whole thing stands at 4,400 square feet, and undulates throughout the space, creating regular desk-like slabs, but also oddly shaped nooks and crannies.
“We really wanted everyone sitting under a desk, but we also wanted to create spaces where people could escape to,” Barbarian Group CEO Sophie Kelly explains in a recent video as she passes under an archway housing what looks like lots (and lots) of liquor.
According to Barbarian Group chairman Benjamin Palmer, building the Superdesk was actually cheaper than it would have been to build standard cubicles. “It was laser-cut, using vintage automotive robots, out of low-cost materials like plywood, MDF, and plate steel,” he says in the video. (Though we’re not too sure what “vintage automotive robots” actually means.)
Architect Clive Wilkinson designed the desk, which was then flat-pack shipped from Los Angeles to New York. The resin coating, which features little sparkles, took a day and a half to pour.
It’s not clear whether this qualifies as an open-office, but hobbit holes full of booze seem like a
fantastic idea real productivity booster either way.