spatial study

‘Working from a relaxing couch or in a gray cubicle?’

Out of Office

Studio LONK opened Out of Office; a perfect flexible workplace in the center of Eindhoven. But once the word spread and the workplace got crowded, a transformation began ...

Announced on social media and in local newspapers as the newest flexible workplace in De Witte Dame, a former Philips factory building, Out of Office seemed to embody the freedom and flexibility of 21st century work ethics. Open 24 hours a day, with a range of different work settings such as a garden with cuddly rabbit, comfy work bed where you can take a nap between emails, a coffee bar, living room and library area. But, in the course of one month, Out of Office slowly changed to "Office". The unsuspecting workers lost their beloved flexible workplaces and received a disciplined, gray cubicle landscape in return. A cubicle inferno, or isn't that control so bad? Studio LONK studied the effects and experiences.

From working anytime and anywhere (..and all the time), to working at set hours, with virtual management control, and in inflexible spaces; Out of Office is a play on the extremes. The trendy workplace turned out to be a social-spatial experiment that critically questions the hype and benefits of our "nomadic" and flexible working behavior: do we have to go back to "office" to find a balance between work and life?

For this project, Studio LONK was asked by MU artspace to participate in an art relay. A farewell of the last 5 months of MU at De Witte Dame, before moving to their new Strijp-S location. MU invited a different artist or designer each month, to furnish the space to their own liking. Studio LONK seized the opportunity to tell a month-long story about the paradoxical relationship between work, leisure, freedom, control, and architecture.

Watch here a movie report on the project.

Vera Mulder from De Correspondent followed the transformation closely. Find her long-read (NL) here: 'Waar werken we liever: in een kleurige zitzak of aan een grijze cubicle'