Co.Design

Typography-Themed Desks Will Make You Hate Open Offices Less

Letter-shaped desks by French designer Benoit Challand could give new life to the tired open office model.

The open office has come under fire of late. Research says it’s bad for productivity and it might even make us sick. And monotonous, boxy cubicles don’t do much by way of visual inspiration.

But a design by French creative Benoit Challand might make you think different. In his concept for Fold Yard, every desk in an open office is shaped as a different letter of the alphabet. This typography turned into functional furniture celebrates the beauty of the large-scale letterform. The letters’ shapes are abstracted unless viewed from above, when they spell out words or phrases.

Challand specializes in CGI design, digital art, and art direction, and has worked for Nike, Cartier, and Ogilvy. This isn’t his first foray into sculptural, large-scale typography: in another project, he built letters from conglomerations of kitchen appliances, laptops, speakers, and washing machines.

Challand's design is a much more original attempt to make modern offices livelier than, say, throwing in a foosball table. You can sit in an A-shaped desk, feeling like you’re at the prow of a ship, or in the smooth curve of a D, far more comfortable than being boxed into a traditional cubicle. If open offices looked as cool as this, maybe we wouldn't all hate them so much.

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