BOOK WEEK: Total Office Design

Trends & Events

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.

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  1. Laura

    Dec 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    would be a great addition to my library!

  2. Sand

    Dec 5, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Sounds like a great book!

  3. Jennifer

    Dec 5, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I would love this modern design book!

  4. Darian

    Dec 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Beautiful! Just completed my thesis on office design!

  5. Aleksandra

    Dec 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

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

  6. Pineapple

    Dec 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Looks like an awesome book!

  7. Katrina

    Dec 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

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

  8. Dale

    Dec 6, 2011 at 6:03 am

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

  9. Lupez Mendoza Jr

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Gimme gimme gimme…

  10. Camie

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

    This looks like a great book!

  11. Siner

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

    This book would be such an inspiration!

  12. erica francine

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

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

  13. Tamara

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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

  14. Jen Rutsky

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    My office could use this.

  15. caryn st john

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    starting a home office redo, could use the inspiration!

  16. adam

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    i read good one day!

  17. Rachelle

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    This would be great inspiration at work

  18. shaheen

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

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

  19. jennhipp

    Dec 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

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

  20. Nate

    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    This book would look nice on my desk!

  21. christy

    Dec 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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

  22. Valerie L

    Dec 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Nice addition to a table coffee book

  23. Erika E

    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

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

  24. peter b

    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This could be fun to have around, definitely!

  25. PJTK

    Dec 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Winning this would be awesome!

  26. beverly isaacs

    Dec 7, 2011 at 6:16 am

    would be an awesome prize to win.

  27. L Dittmar

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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

  28. Ryan W

    Dec 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    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. Becky Nemetchek

    Dec 8, 2011 at 8:12 am

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

  30. matt

    Dec 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

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

  31. Ryan W

    Dec 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    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. matt

    Dec 9, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Love books!!!

  33. Lara

    Dec 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Love the cover design of this one.

  34. Beth @ the Modern Home

    Dec 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

    We could use some inspiration for our home office design.