The streets of Denver recently burst forth with an overgrown set of desks, cubicles, and conference areas that give a whole new meaning to the term ‘green' office. While they can't boast about paperless systems, energy-saving strategies, or waste recycling, these living work spaces add a healthy breath of fresh air to the city's business district. The intriguing range of five playful spaces overflowing with foliage are part of the conceptual installation ‘’Natural Systems Domination" by the designers at Tres Birds Workshop. The installation was commissioned in order to encourage people in the business district to enjoy more daily fresh air breaks, and we think these outdoor office spaces might just catch people’s attention enough to get them thinking their relationship with their desks versus the outdoors.
The spaces range from an executive office and conference room to a break room and cubicle space complete with filing cabinets. The foliage-covered offices are located in Denver’s 16th Street business district. They were sponsored by the eco footwear company KEEN and built with the help of a local green roof company. Tres Birds used all natural greenery and spent a lot of time hand sewing sedum to make faux quilts to drape over the office furniture to give the scene an overgrown look. All non-living props were obtained from secondhand stores, including an old Canon copier, a water cooler, cubicle walls, a golf set, computers, kitschy knickknacks, coffee mugs, and more. When the installation was over, all of the vegetation was recycled or reused, and the office furniture was redonated to secondhand stores.
It often seems like our working worlds are dominated more by our computer systems, than the natural systems that surround us, so it is nice to see a conceptual piece that is fighting back against this trend. Tres Birds Workshop state:
“Domination implies taking over. If we had it our way, natural systems would dominate entirely. Natural systems operate in perfect efficiency… The further we stray from connections with nature, the more alien we become.”