The Superdesk

I learned about the Superdesk a few months ago while reading the New Yorker. Nick Paumgarten writes:

It is a single desk for all of the firm’s hundred and twenty-five employees, with room for fifty more. It is more than a thousand feet long and has no beginning or end, swerving around the giant loft space like a mega slot-car track—“4,400 square feet of undulating, unbroken awesomeness to keep people and ideas flowing,” the firm has said. (A few years ago, Barbarian trademarked the slogan “It’s gonna be awesome.”) The superdesk, designed by the architect Clive Wilkinson, consists of a plywood substructure and a continuous seamless poured-resin white top. It has seven steep-pitched hills that create archways under which Barbarians can cluster or chill out alone. Otherwise, they sit at their stations. The superdesk makes for the ultimate open office plan, and the openness is absolute.

My first reaction was to email this article around to a bunch of my friends with subtle variations on the statement, “I would LITERALLY kill myself if I had to work at this desk,” to each. Next, I took every opportunity to inform everybody I know about the Superdesk. Finally, I realized I was obsessed with this thing and pitched out a story, pegged to the desk, on workplace privacy.

It was rejected. I didn’t really care though; I wasn’t that attached to the idea. Not like the ocularist story.

But anyway, in preparing the pitch, I watched this video:

Introducing the Superdesk from The Barbarian Group on Vimeo.

…and realized this monstrosity of an open work space actually has more private places than the office I currently work in. Hmmm.

2 thoughts on “The Superdesk

  1. I hadn’t heard of it at all until I read your post. I watched the video first, though. By just reading about it, it sounds like a living hell! But looking at it makes me want to work at that desk. I love all of the little cubby holes to go hide in!

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