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BOOK WEEK: Total Office Design

Categories: News + Events + Contests


Total Office Design – 50 Contemporary Workplaces
By Kerstin Zumstein and Helen Parton
(Thames and Hudson 2011)

Who doesn’t love working from home? Farmers, that’s who. Also, anyone whose workplace is featured in “Total Office Design,” a showcase of the world’s most extraordinary workspaces.

Salt mines these are not.

The book describes each project’s history and approach. Key architectural players are profiled. Nearly 500 photos detail the myriad structures, fixtures and amenities. And chairs–busloads of chairs.

What’s that? Your office door is an old cattle chute? We’ve all worked in repurposed space–the odd converted mansion or revamped warehouse. By contrast, most of Zumstein and Parton’s selections are built from scratch, designed to the grommet to meet workplace needs.

For Madrid’s Selgas Canos Studio, this means a semi-subterranean Plexi and fiberglass tube plopped in the woods. Berlin fashion source Platoon puts their Seoul workforce in a cubic metal pop up (“transient adaptable office”). Meanwhile, employees of Lorigenhof in Buchs, Switzerland, sit happily inside an old feed mill. My reaction to each involved drool on the page. Does form follow function? Discuss.

Fact: of the book’s 50 offices, 12 are in the UK. Opinion: Spanish architecture is way beyond rad. But wherever’s clever–it’s easy to dream of working in any of these spaces. In by dawn. Solving and creating. Motoring home in the Snaab.

Why go such lengths for the sake of a workplace? The authors themselves state it best: “We may be living in austere times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun where we work.” I offer my adaptation: Have fun reading this book, wherever you work.

Remember: comment on this post (leave a way we can get in touch with you) for a chance to win a copy of this book! Find all the info and rules of book week here

Generously helping out this week with book reviews, like the one above, is the witty, talented and much-appreciated Daniel Mennega, who lives and writes in Austin, Texas.

34 Comments to "BOOK WEEK: Total Office Design"

  1. would be a great addition to my library!

  2. Sounds like a great book!

  3. I would love this modern design book!

  4. Beautiful! Just completed my thesis on office design!

  5. I would love to extend my library with this book! :)

  6. Looks like an awesome book!

  7. I’d like some total office design of my own!

  8. Gimmie Gimmie – redesigning and expanding our office soon – would love to have this!

  9. Gimme gimme gimme…

  10. This looks like a great book!

  11. This book would be such an inspiration!

  12. finally, places in which i could ACTUALLY get some work done!

  13. My fiance is studying interior design and would love to have this book in his collection for our future home!

  14. My office could use this.

  15. starting a home office redo, could use the inspiration!

  16. i read good one day!

  17. This would be great inspiration at work

  18. Book looks promising. Great use of color in the second pic.

  19. Heading into my senior year for Interior Design. This book would be a great addition to my resource library!

  20. This book would look nice on my desk!

  21. Can really use some great ideas for my office…thanks for offering this wonderful book!

  22. Nice addition to a table coffee book

  23. This book looks like it’s an excellent resource for office design. Would love to have it!

  24. This could be fun to have around, definitely!

  25. Winning this would be awesome!

  26. would be an awesome prize to win.

  27. LOVE the mod offices…now, how to work in my antiques?

  28. This looks like a great book! I am graduating with a degree in Interior Design this semester and it could help inspire me on future projects!

  29. Always looking for inspiration. Looking forward to seeing the whole book – when I win!

  30. very nice… just build a floor to ceiling library – need to fill it!!

  31. I would love to win this book! There are a few more images on the publisher’s website that are just as cool as the images you posted!

  32. Love books!!!

  33. Love the cover design of this one.

  34. We could use some inspiration for our home office design.