Office shelving systems combine flexibility, ease of access and high capacity, often complemented by each designer’s particular attitude towards functionality and aesthetics.
Consider ‘Tide’, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid and produced by Magis, a modular, wall-mounted office shelving system, inspired by the minimal physics of soap bubbles. Jack Godfrey Woods and Tom Ballhatchet also take inspiration from nature in their ‘Build’ office shelving system for MOVISI, where open, cell shaped compartments are either mounted and assembled alongside a wall, or stacked into a space dividing element.
One of the most influential product designers, Dieter Rams, designed the understated, aluminium ‘202 U.S.S.’ for De Padova, a metal office shelving system that can exists in a wall-mounted and also tensioned, freestanding version. Naoto Fukasawa combines wooden construction with MDF shelves and slender, aluminium cross-bracing for his minimal ‘Shelving System’ for Artek, while TECNO’s ‘Shift’, designed by the architectural firm Foster + Partners, is a rigorous tectonic exercise, softened by the shelves’ rounded edges.
Another sober, yet daring, design is architect’s Renzo Piano’s ‘Libreria’, manufactured by Zeritalia, an all-glass office shelving system with elegant steel connections. Those with a preference for a more informal, relaxed design should look to Robert Bronwasser’s ‘Spine’ for Cascando, a freestanding, Y-shaped office shelving system that combines plywood surfaces with anodized aluminium legs, or Atelier Oï’s ‘Staccato’ a tall, wooden, rectangular office shelving system with haphazardly distributed internal partitions.
And even though Studio Parade’s ‘Stuff’ for spectrum meubelen has a sober, steel structure, it is covered with colourful, upholstered panels, creating an informal, cheerful and sound-absorbing space divider. Lastly, Samantha and John Ritschl-Lassoudry attach swiveling trays onto a central, wall-to-ceiling pole in ‘Swing’ office shelving system for Performa, where stored objects are simply accessed by rotating the compartments, resulting in a playful, deconstructed composition.