Date
November 9, 2021
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A Simple Machine by Dutch design studio HeijltjesAkkaya was born from the duo’s experience in trying to improve our way of working.

There’s nothing complicated about keeping fit and healthy while working. Change posture, keep active, take regular breaks. Easy. Yet, most of us still don’t. And we are no stranger ourselves to the back-aching results of a day glued to our chairs.

Staying active is key, but this does require a conscious effort.

Office seating is designed to keep you seated. But no ergonomic chair can negate poor posture or the effects of hours of inactivity. Standing desks offer the possibility of switching from sitting to standing, which is good. Yet, most contradict the active attitude they try to stimulate with slow, externally powered movement, initiated by pressing a button.

Most furniture designs that try to promote a more active sedentary lifestyle incorporate slow and externally powered technology, which is contradictory – © HeijltjesAkkaya

Failing to find fitting solutions in current work furniture, HeijltjesAkkaya was curious what would effectively stimulate people to have a more active workday.

A Simple Machine is furniture that invites active working. The motion of the user is mimicked in the moving parts and transformation of the objects; functional and transparent furniture pieces that reflect activity in appearance and interaction.

Designers are reimagining office spaces with wellness in mind for a good reason, check out Rethinking the office with Arup: wellbeing and placemaking are key to redesign our future workspace.

With A Simple Machine, the company combines ergonomics and engineering to promote physical activity in the workplace or at home. Its pulleys, weights and levers, powered by human energy, enable a new working rhythm.

Counterweight Table and Gas Spring Table are almost inside-out constructions from folded steel and industrial parts, designed to last multiple lifetimes.

For Counterweight Table, a cylindrical counterweight balances the mass of the tabletop and its frame, resulting in a floating surface that can be fixed at any desired height. A custom magazine holding extra weights offers the option of altering the counterweight and balancing a heavier load on the table.

Gas Spring Table uses a lever and gas spring to press a wheel along the underside of the aluminum tabletop – creating a weightless work surface. Moving the tabletop is done by effortlessly pushing it up or down.

The Hour Stool is a complementary object to use as a seat for the Counterweight or Gas Spring Table, or for any other table or working surface. Archetypical in shape, even somewhat spartan in appearance, the Stool is designed for an active posture and regular switching between sitting and standing. Changing height is done by simply turning the seat.

Sitting can be bad for you, and a lot of us have to do it for most of the day, don’t miss Active Office: Reimagining the workplace one ‘exercise chair’ at a time.

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