Globus Mobile Office Pod

In the late spring of 1999, as I was endeavoring to finalize my research of an obscure topic in an obscure discipline toward an obscure degree at a middling institution which shall remain nameless, I was accustomed to passing long hours in the somewhat dingy and unprofessionally lit third floor of the library, most typically awkwardly folded into what passed at the time for a "work station." True, these garish and cheap (usually a blinding orange and upholstered in polyester) semi-circular contraptions of melamine were passable study cubicles in the sense that they afforded one a measure of privacy, but they were ugly, and their twisted shape made them anti-ergonomic (if there is such a thing - I just remember feeling like I'd been bent in half once I concluded my studies and disembarked). If only the Globus chair had existed back then, scores of prematurely curmudgeonly graduate students - myself among them - could have avoided that pretzel-ized sensation.

Globus Mobile Office Pod. Designed by Michiel van der Kley. Manufactured by Artifort.

The Globus is one of those pieces that elicits a strong reaction, but whether you love it or hate it, you're drawn to it; you can't tear yourself away. The first connection for me is with the storm troopers of Star Wars fame (the original, not the terrible trio of this new millennium); with its shell of molded plastic and interior of sleek black leather, the Globus looks like a seed pod for Vader's minions. You can almost picture row upon row of the modular work stations in some hatchling ground for the Empire's new army. But once you register how ingenious the thing is, how truly functional and portable, how space-agey yet comforting in a retro/futuro kind of way, such dark thoughts quickly dissipate.

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Image of Globus Mobile Office Pod, both open and closed. This work station holds strong even in heavily trafficked spaces.

The Globus is Dutch company Artifort's most recent contribution to the world of the mobile work-space or "office pod." With the help of a flexing steel shaft, the work-top portion of the Globus moves forward or back to open or close it. In the closed position, it resembles an over-sized golf ball with the divots smoothed out, while in its open position, it's a comfy swiveling chair fronting a handy work station. And the whole unit is on an aluminum platform with wheels underneath for easy portability (the wheels lock when the unit is opened, so you don't go careening into space). Nor are you stuck with the storm trooper look - the Globus is available in a variety of colors and in fabric or leather. For those who admire a retro-space aesthetic, and who require a convenient and mobile work station, the Globus is an excellent choice.

Posted March 17, 2008 by Joseph Starr

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