Imagine heading into the office for the day and not sitting down at your desk. Instead, you lean against low pillars set at a jaunty angle while you have a meeting with colleagues, you lie belly down on a platform to bang out some emails on a laptop, and you curl up in a nice, quiet corner somewhere to plow through that epic report your boss just sent you. Such is the future office imagined by RAAAF in collaboration with artist Barbara Visser for their project The End of Sitting.
The End of Sitting presents an office without any of that sitting-is-the-new-smoking business — an office far more concerned with the physical and mental well-being of its occupants. RAAAF and Visser describe the project as an “installation at the crossroads of visual art, architecture, philosophy and empirical science.” The team note that “in our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting, while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects.”
The project presents a new office concept in which “the chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points.” Instead, the installation encourages visitors to experiment with different standing, lying and leaning positions in a radically reimagined office environment. The project is not simply for the fun of it, however. It’s the start of an experimental trial process exploring the future possibilities for the working environment in an effort to promote better workplace health. The End of Sitting is a physical exploration of the team’s recent animation “Sitting Kills,” which was developed for the Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands.
The End of Sitting was presented in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Looiersgracht 60, a new nonprofit space for showcasing art and science.
Photos by RAAAF and Barbara Wisser