Cubicles are universally panned as a symbol of cloistered office culture and soul-sucking corporate standardization. But in the hands of designer Francesc Rifé, an office in a cube becomes something nostalgically precious.
HO is a home office the Barcelona-based practitioner designed for the Spanish brand furniture brand JMM. It’s a console that transforms into a workstation, complete with a file cabinet, shelves, LED task lamp, stool, and integrated power.
With dark-wood veneer inside and matte ecru lacquer outside, it seems like an 1970s throwback. But Rifé wasn’t inspired by corporate offices so much as he was nodding to his own history growing up in a Catalan village known for its sparkling wine. The wine cellars were often behind enormous doors with huge hinges–an architectural detail that inspired HO’s hide-and-reveal design. When the office mode isn’t needed, swing the workstation shut and it’s in stealth mode.
This year and last, we’ve seen a handful of design homages to the ’70s, whether it’s in the form of maximalist furniture and interiors or resuscitating work from the golden age of governmental graphic design. HO is its own kind of nostalgic throwback–one that could be useful for people living in the cramped quarters of today. See it in action in the slide show above.