In the race toward a more progressive office floor plan, designers have created communal tables, desks you reserve in advance, and modular desks designed to spur collaboration around the clock. All try to be flexible alternatives to the traditional desk-and-conference-room model, but when it comes to finding a little privacy at work, they hit a ceiling.
“Privacy in the office is becoming rare,” Mike Simonian, one half of Mike & Maaike, tells Co.Design. “We felt that people needed a place to escape and have a moment to relax, focus, and have some personal time–to send a text, use a tablet, make a call, think.”
It’s neither green nor practical to have separate rooms as little in-office getaways. So Mike & Maaike took the basic architecture of a room–walls and a ceiling–and applied them to a chair. The duo based Windowseat’s design not on a chair, however, but on a cardboard box. “When we were kids, Maaike and I both played inside cardboard boxes,” Simonian says. “The feeling of having your own personal space really stuck with us. Our challenge was to achieve this feeling without the chair looking too boxy.”
To aerate the space inside the chair, the designers opened up the back and tilted it back a few degrees. The walls and the padded upholstery muffle any exterior noises, while the peek-a-boo openings combat the onset of claustrophobia. Windowseat is going into production now, and will be available through Haworth. Simonian says there are no set homes for the chair yet, but given Mike & Maaike’s affiliation with Google, we can venture a guess as to at least one office that will roll these out.