japanese art, design and culture
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Consider One’s Place | the ultimate productivity desk

Where do go when you really want to get work done? This is one of the questions posed in Jason Fried’s TED talk in which he outlines the prime culprits of the impoverished office. In essence, the problem is one of uninterrupted streams of concentration, or lack thereof, and how to create a more productive work environment. One such solution, if you are a writer, is to use Information Architect’s brilliant iPad app writer. The app offers a simple and elegant function known as “Focus Mode,” in effect, removing all the auto-correct, toolbars and scrolling, which otherwise cause distractions.

The limitations of the app are that 1) you have to own an iPad (although they are developing it for other platforms) and 2) your profession must be largely dependent on the act of writing. So how do we take Information Architect’s concepts of uninterrupted focus and expand them to other realms?

Japanese creative office fift – you may remember them from their shirt with built-in microfiber cloth for wiping down glasses or cell phones – have proposed a solution that I can only describe by using the age-old idiom: just crazy enough to work.


click images to enlarge

It’s a ladder. Yes, a ladder…. with a seat and laptop holder at the top. “Consider One’s Place” is a quite literal answer to a conceptual meditation on the proper place for something, whether it’s a human, an object or a phenomenon. The ladder creates an invisible partition, removing  one from the eye-level of others and creating distance – in effect,  seclusion – within a defined space.

But what I think is brilliant about this piece of furniture (yes, let’s call it furniture) is the investment one must make to sit down and begin working. Once you have climbed up those precarious steps, it’s going to take more than a text message or a that cup of coffee to get you to come down from your perch.

Beautifully crafted in Japan, and made from solid oak (as well as a touch of fabric and urethane foam for comfort), “Consider One’s Place” is set to go on sale for 160,000 yen (about US $2000) at the online store novelax. Not to undermine the designer’s work but rather to preempt any predictable sarcastic comments, yes, I suppose you could also build your own.

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