So I’ve been sitting here on my birthday, mulling over the passage of time (as you do when you reach a certain age) with the realisation that when we talk about design trends and the latest “new” ideas in the market, how much is actually really new?
April 2019 marks the centenary of Walter Gropius establishing the Bauhaus movement in Weimar and the modernist architectural movement was certainly striving to create something new and minimalist. Roll forward from that movement and the trends within workplace design acknowledging the impact of ergonomics and wellbeing on productivity and mental health certainly seem both pertinent, fresh and yes, quite new.
Imagine my surprise therefore, when leafing through Adrian Forty’s design classic “Objects of Desire” to see the following illustration for an adjustable stenographer desk. The original accompanying narrative explains that “to work standing for short periods of time is found to relieve fatigue. With the chair and desk raised, the change from sitting to standing can be made almost instantly” This find is even more remarkable with the publication being from L. Galloway’s Office Management. Its Principles and Practice, New York, 1919!
All those workplace furniture manufacturers who are marketing the latest sit-stand desk ranges..Hmmm not so new after all it seems! Happy Anniversary Sit-Stand desks…100 years old and still going strong!