This article explores the efforts by Dutch furniture designers – already superstars of high-end residential furniture – who are currently striving to capture the lead in the avant-garde sector of modern office furniture design. Among products already in production are the “Ear Chair,” a chair with massive wings at head level that provide privacy for one-on-one meetings when two such chairs face each other ear-to-ear, and the “Work Sofa,” a modular system that can be configured for focused meetings. Most of the article, however, is focused on the latest offering by Dutch furniture maker Prooff – a motorized office chair called the “Slow Car” that promises to free workers from their cube farms. The designers envision corporate campuses populated by these travelling chairs/desks allowing employees to meet in nearby buildings or outdoors without leaving their desks. One highly successful L.A. designer who plans to use the Slow Car in an upcoming project believes they are important for “opening our eyes, in some cases, to the absurdity of what we do, and points us in new directions.” Insurance issues have yet to be addressed.

Source:  Tim McKeough, Fast Company (Boston), Sept, 2009

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