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OFFICES FOR SMALL SPACES

Alejandro Bahamon, Author
Alejandro Bahamon, Author . Harper Design International $39.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-06-059845-7
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While many office workers may feel like they work in a small box, many of the office designs here actually are small boxes. The first section of the book provides basic information on space-saving advances made in the six basic components of an office—furniture, partitions, conference rooms, chairs, shelving and work surfaces. For instance, "chairs play an important role in expressing the image and supporting [sic] the operation of many offices." The brightly colored balls and boxes that make up conference room seating for a graphic design agency specializing in children's books or a low lacquered conference table surrounded by mats for a Japanese advertising agency make more sense after this basic orientation. Unfortunately, while architects may be enthralled by the cleverness with which these components are made to fit into difficult spaces, in most of the designs ergonomic health and safety seem to have been left behind with the cubicles (the inflexibility of which, according to Bahamón, are "a thing of the past"); in one project for an unidentified business, a sinuous green platform functions simultaneously as desk, chair and knee-bruiser. The photograph of blurry office workers hunched over their unilevel keyboards would make anyone's back ache in sympathy. The book is not for those seeking to redesign their home offices—its space-saving ideas are discussed strictly from the point of view of their designers. (June)

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