Office-furniture designers love to talk about their products as if they were competing in floor exercises at the Olympics. We hear about “flexible desks!” and partitions designed for “ultimate mobility!” All of which is clever marketing aimed at convincing us that a truly athletic open workplace — an office that perfectly fits the free-flowing way people work today — is just around the corner.
Mobi, the latest from industrial designer Andrea Ruggiero, isn’t much different. It’s a mobile workstation that promises to “be easily moved and intuitively reconfigured.” The difference here is this: It actually lives up to the hype.
How? It’s dead-simple. You’ve got a one-legged table attached to a sound-dampening wall on locking wheels, and that’s it. So unlike traditional partition-based desks, which require all kinds of complex tools and specialists to be be reconfigured, Mobi can be rolled around the office like a wheelbarrow, then arranged with other Mobi desks in dozens of permutations — rows, circles, whatever. No expertise required.