GOOD

image via (cc) flickr user omargurnah

In a move sure to do wonders for the emotional well-being of office workers around the world, tech giant Hitachi has developed a line of wearable mood monitors designed to track and tabulate overall workplace happiness. Were I wearing one of their devices, I would grin from ear to ear and say that it’s a great idea to help improve office morale. But, since I’m not, I can say with a scowl that this feels like something right out of a creepy Office Space/”Brave New World” crossover fever-dream.

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Is This Simple LED Light the Solution to Open Office Productivity?

This new device tells co-workers whether you’re too busy to talk.

There’s no polite way to say, “Leave me the fuck alone” when you’re working in an open office plan. Some people even have a hard time staying away when you’ve got headphones on, which, as we all know, if the universal sign for, “shut up, I’m working”. When there are no walls, there’s nothing to stop Joe from Accounting from stopping by your desk and interrupting your workflow to talk about the fantastic new time-share he bought in Miami Beach.

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The Anti-Sitting Movement Brings You a Chairless Work Office

These designers offer an alternative to the hegemonic desk-and-chair workplace designs.

The crusade against chair-based lifestyles gained steam in 2011, when doomsday headlines declared sitting a “lethal activity.” Today, the anti-sitting agenda of medical researchers, lifestyle experts, and masochists has made significant gains and spurred efforts to redesign our entire lives so that we may never have to sit again. One group of designers has heralded “the end of sitting” with their redesign of the modern workplace. Amsterdam-based design studio RAAAF paired with artist Barbara Visser to construct a prototype of a chairless office at the Looiersgracht 60 Gallery in Amsterdam. Their vision eschews cubicles, desks, and chairs in favor of sloped surfaces and angled structures that workers are expected to lean against or lie on for support.

“In our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting, while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects,” the designers said. “The installation’s various affordances solicit visitors to explore different standing positions in an experimental work landscape.”

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