Design Dilemma: Live-Work Office Gear


The smartest line of office furniture I’ve seen in a long time was created and is being tested in the Bay Area. Turnstone, with the help of Palo Alto’s IDEO, has recreated itself as a collection of hip, well-designed desks, chairs, tables, dividers and ottomans. These aren’t the kind of items where robot-like cubical jockeys slave away; these are the seats where globe-changing start-ups are born.

That’s what I imagine anyway. Check out Turnstone’s Campfire dry erase table, which makes it easy to jot down or sketch out brilliant ideas:

Or, if you are a paper-lover, there’s a pulp version. This might replace the proverbial crumpled cocktail napkin (although I’m not sure what the model’s ground-breaking idea is here):

So how do these pieces solve your design dilemmas? I’ll answer with a story: I once scouted a lovely house in Santa Monica where I was sure every room would shoot and publish beautifully, except for the office. The designer had kitted it out with four standard-issue desks for mother, father and sons.

“Wow, it looks like a corporate office,” I said, dismayed.

“This is what you have to get if you want to do serious work at home,” the designer answered.

Ahem, I respectfully beg to differ. Check out this desk that lets a group work without a tangle of wires (they are hidden in the center channel). Outlets pop up at the ends, making searching for the already overloaded powerstrip under your desk a dim memory.

If you live in a loft, you will appreciate this extra large Campfire Big Lamp; it doesn’t matter how high your ceilings are, this light fixture brings the glow to the desk (that’s a 55-inch shade, thank you very much):

Other pieces include movable wing walls (seen above) and modular furniture that’s more cool than vanilla.

The fact that the Bay Area’s start-up cup runneth over is probably why Turnstone is testing the items here. You can see them in person at Sandbox Suites, PariSoma, RocketSpace and I/O Ventures by booking a tour here.

The press release says the pieces were designed for how people work today, and everyone knows that jobs in this state are done everywhere from converted lofts to kitchen tables. These pieces allow you to take it home in comfort and style.

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