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The Whiteboard Gets A Vibrant Redesign

Can a change in perspective make brainstorming more productive? Nendo thinks so.

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Ever been confounded when you walk into a meeting and find the room doesn't have a whiteboard? Japanese design firm Nendo has an answer to that: a giant, circular whiteboard that you can wheel into any room you want when it's time to brainstorm (or brainwrite).

As part of the "Rolling Workspaces" installation at the Orgatec 2016 furniture fair in Cologne, Germany, Nendo decided to take a look at redesigning the whiteboard. The decor of any two offices are often radically different, but Nendo noticed that no matter how weird an office got with its furniture, the whiteboards remained the same.

That struck Nendo as odd. The primary purpose of a whiteboard, after all, is to spark creativity, but there was nothing creative about the whiteboard. Everywhere you went, they were white, rectangular, flimsy, and decidedly immobile: the most boring and uninspiring way to be creative imaginable.

That's why Nendo's whiteboards are different. First of all, they're big and round, like giant wagon wheels, making them easy to move into any room. To set these circular whiteboards up, you just tilt them against the wall. But the circular pattern isn't just for transport. Nendo hopes that an oval whiteboard will convince you to write in spirals, not only encouraging new brainstorming patterns, but allowing users to just turn the whiteboard when they need more space.

As part of this concept, Nendo also envisions an associated desk with a large slit in it, which can be used to "park" a whiteboard (or, for that matter, a bicycle) when it's not in use. The opposite side of the whiteboard, meanwhile, is covered in colorful felt coming in shades of aqua, slate gray, and even black. This allows the whiteboards to double as sound dampening panels when they're not in use, helping keep an office space quiet.

All told, Nendo says the point of its circular whiteboards was to help create a dynamic work space that would allow people to "rotate" their brains, inspecting hoary old problems from fresh points of view. Or, failing that? A really great pair of googly eyes to wheel into your office windows.

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