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Office of the Future: Popup. Pallet. Modular. Shipping Container

How do you work was an exhibit at Toronto’s Interior Design Show that featured four designers’ unique approaches to today’s concept of a work space. Heather Dubbeldam‘s approach was made of recycled shipping pallets, built up into a sort of plug-in modular design.

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Dubbeldam writes: ‘There has been a profound shift in the way we work; when all we need is a surface to work on and a place to plug in, the working environment is no longer static. Mobility, adaptability and flexibility are the new key elements of the modern office.’

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The POP-UP office is an installation exploring the evolving way in which we work. Using modular units that can be combined in different ways, the result is a workspace that is simultaneously bare bones and tailored to the individual. Built out of reclaimed wood pallet boards and their frames, separate modules collectively form the modern work place, facilitating both individual work and collaboration – a workspace, collaborative space, lounge area and refuelling station. In sinuous forms, the reclaimed boards morph from wall and floor planes into furniture elements.

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The possibilities are endless; easily transported, reconfigurable and rapidly deployed, “pop-up offices” are designed for short term or longer term use, atypical applications such as outdoor festivals or disaster relief situations, or start-ups looking for modest but functional office space. Stripping away the superfluous, the Pop-Up Office embodies adaptability. With the playful use of materials, lighting and furniture components, the space itself morphs in conjunction with workplace needs.

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Dubbeldam explains: ‘Nothing is actually nailed down at all, only the lounge chairs we had to nail for IDS since people were moving them (20,000 people through the exhibit in 3 days), but in a ‘real life’ situation one wouldn’t have to nail them down, they are quite solid.

The table, bench and desk surfaces were all movable, and the floor, wall and ceiling planes were separate units that were dropped into place, and removed in a few hours. They were not even fastened to the walls or ceiling, everything was connected to each other and the ceiling plane was sitting on the wall at the back, and a lip at the front of the container. Not a single screw was used!’

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