Although new advances in technology mean that much of communication and administration can happen without a single sheet of paper, a wholly paperless office is still some years away, and until that point, storage and filing cabinets will remain an essential part of any operation.

Florence Knoll-designed ‘Florence Knoll Credenza’ cabinet, manufactured by Knoll International, is a large, representative and luxurious modernist design with a polished marble countertop. Another classic design is Fritz Haller’s and Paul Schrärer’s ‘USM Modular Furniture Haller’ for USM, an expansive, universal solution, whose exposed steel skeleton can be filled in with a variety of elements to create shelves, cabinets, display cases and sideboards.

Caimi Brevetti’s ‘Socrate’ cabinet is similarly industrial, and, in addition to engineered wood, also offers fronts made of clear, coloured plastic. Some storage cabinet are essentially large, open shelves, as is the case in Peter Christian Hertel’s and Sebastian Klarhoefer’s gridded ‘355’ system for Flötotto; or Martin Dettinger’s ‘facett Shelving system’ for ophelis. Mario Bissegger’s and Stefan Pluess’s ‘xilobis-Module System 38’ cabinet for xilobis combines a rational wooden structure with different types of compartments and colours, each time resulting in a wholly unique, playful storage solution.

Vincent van Duysen’s ‘Totem G300’ for Pastoe is conceived in a similar spirit: different and differently coloured storage modules are stacked to create a tall cabinet. Architect Jean Nouvel’s ‘LessLess’ for Unifor is a tall, but more serious, minimalist cabinet made from aluminium. Designed by 967 Architetti Associati, ‘Primco acoustic’ series manufactured by Dieffebi places emphasis on acoustics and covers the fronts and backs of their large cabinets in sound absorbing material, so that they may also act as room dividers.

If a large number of independent cabinets is needed, look to Ayse Birsel’s and Bibi Seck’s ‘Teneo’ collection for Herman Miller Europe, which consists of lockers, open shelves, trolleys, but also more conventional cabinets with an open shelf underneath the countertop. And finally, Bram Boo’s ‘Overdose’ cabinet for BULO is a collage of haphazardly leaning shelves and storage compartments, reflecting creativity within organised chaos.

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