The research reads like a Surgeon General’s warning: Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease, blood clots and spinal compression, according to the latest medical studies.
To combat this modern office horror, an artist and an architecture firm from the Netherlands have re-imagined the office with all the chairs pulled out from under us. The exhibit, called The End of Sitting, is a geometric landscape of surfaces of varying heights on which to lean.
“The chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points,” Erik and Ronald Rietveld, partners at Dutch firm Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances, told Cult of Mac. “In our society, almost the entirety of our surroundings have been for sitting while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects.”
The word “furniture” might not come to mind to the observer, but a stroll through the office’s bizarre pathways reveals a variety of places for work and rest. While there are some places to sit, the design encourages leaning and lying at different angles.
Yes, lying down on the job is OK in this futuristic office.
Visser, a highly regarded conceptual artist, and RAAAF began working earlier this year on finding comfortable ways to work while standing. They produced an animated video called Sitting Kills and were then invited by the Dutch government to build a prototype.
RAAAF calls the installation the crossroads of “visual art, architecture, philosophy and empirical science,” and the Rietvelds say they have been approached by businesses interested in redesigning their work spaces.
“(It) is designed as a work landscape in which people are confronted with working together,” they said. “Encountering one another in unforeseen positions; standing below, laying above and leaning towards each other creating new social affordances.”
Future designs, they said, would deal with the practicalities of shelving and storage.