The "Superdesk" undulates to create new and surprising spaces in the office.

The whole thing stands at 4,400 square feet, creating regular desk-like slabs and 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.

It's made from plywood and a single pour of resin.

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,” says Barbarian Group chairman Benjamin Palmer.

2014-02-18

Co.Exist

This 4,400-Square-Foot Desk Creates Hiding Holes For An Escape Within The Office

The Superdesk puts most outside-the-box workplaces to shame.

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.

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4 Comments

  • The robots used to laser cut the plywood were formerly automotive robots in the 90s and 00s repurposed today for architecture - you have to put the data on a floppy disk to get them going!

    BP

  • Elizabeth Doolittle

    I see lots of computers on the superdesk. As usual, not a single tablet. So much for the post-PC world, despite Microsoft trying its best to kill PCs with Windows 8.

  • I love innovation with office space!

    It's quite difficult to create a relaxed atmosphere in a traditional office, despite what TV tells us! While an office like this doesn't immediately generate the perfect working environment, with the right people it can create a great atmosphere.