These days, a business moving has more to worry about than the old adage of “location, location, location.” There are also office furniture installations to worry about, as well. Furniture trends come and go, especially as experts debate the merits of private cubicles and open layouts. However, many offices are finding that a blend of the two is becoming the norm in order to give employees the chance to decide where and how they work.
For example, modular furniture systems, which can be rearranged into a variety of shapes, are popular office installations for employers looking toward the unconventional. But this isn’t the strangest type of furniture a business can have, if some of the top companies and design firms in the world are anything to go by. Here are three strange office installations that put the cubicle to shame:
Google’s Slides and Weird Workspaces
Google’s Mountainview, California, headquarters are world famous for their strange designs and lax approach to the regimented workday. Because innovation is key at Google, they often let employees choose where and how they work. In addition to letting workers slide from the upper floors to the lower ones, like some kind of office-playground hybrid, they also have a number of private and collaborative workspaces designed to look like… well, not workspaces. From beehive-shaped enclosures made for private conversations or some peace and quiet to collaborative spaces made from subway cars, hot air balloons, and other objects, they office is unconventional at best.
Google isn’t the only company with slides as office installations, though. Lego, the toymaker based in Denmark, has slides situated near life-sized Lego figures and plenty of bright colors everywhere. But that’s actually not as weird as it gets.
Pirate Ships, Giant Cupcakes, and More in Inventionland
Inventionland Design Factory is the home to some of the most innovative designers and inventors in the world, and their office shows it. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, office looks more like an indoor theme park rather than the research and development center it’s meant to be. Gazebos, castles, and private offices shaped like giant cupcakes are all a part of the Inventionland design. But perhaps the strangest installation in the space is a nearly life-sized pirate ship in a man-made “mote” that actually houses office workers.
The Chair-Free Labyrinth
Forget finding the top office chairs if your office was designed by the Rietveld Architecture-Art Affordances in the Netherlands. This design studio developed a labyrinthine structure known as “The End of Sitting” designed to ban the chair in the workplace. The goal of the experimental layout is to force workers to stand or lean throughout the workday because sitting all day can have adverse effects on one’s health. While the model hasn’t been used by any actual businesses yet, the idea of no-sitting zones could become a thing in the future.
What’s the strangest corporate office furniture you’ve ever seen? Tell us your favorites in the comments below.