No Mo Neck Pain with Fredrik Mattson’s Nomono Workstation

I have been dreaming of an adjustable-height desk. My neck pain—a nagging symptom of writing for a living–is reaching such proportion that I’ve taken to drinking at 11 a.m. in the morning (yesterday it was old Malbec, today I’m about to hit the only bottle I have left, which is cooking sherry). It is taking designers way too long to acknowledge that how we work today is different from the days of typing, water coolers, and headsets. Our poor bodies will certainly take a while to adjust to prolonged computer use, but workstations should be treating our current condition, not pretending it’s business as usual (after all, I work in my pajamas).

Nomono Workstation. Designed by Fredrik Mattson manufactured by Horreds.

So, when a designer like Fredrik Mattson actually takes contemporary office trends into account, I’m immediately thankful—perhaps even elated. The inimitable creator of the fabulously bejeweled RGB Lights and the vibrantly festooned PXL Lights (hallucinatory Legos for adults), harnessed his creative power for the good of all working people. The result is Nomono, an open-plan workstation that responds to current-day needs. Mattson designed the furniture so we drones could simplify our daily operations; he sought to “give you more energy for the fun things to do.” The beginning of Nomono was nothing less than a millennial reality check: “The work habits are not the same as 20 years ago. Today most people uses laptops, we talk more in cell phones than the regular phone and we don’t write many letters by hand. The single office is becoming nothing but a memory.
Of course the office must change with the circumstances!” Thank you for denying denial, Mr. Mattson—now, may I introduce you to some of my family members?





Desks come with integrated power stations, neatly tucked beneath flat panels. Besides outlets, you can also add USB ports. The connectivity can be daisy-chained from desk to desk—for those of you who have to actually work with other people (so sorry—at least I only have myself to blame for workplace disharmony). You can customize your own space by choosing the colors you like—all units in the Nomono collection come in white or black with accents in a wide array of hues. Mattson, after all, is known for his fun use of color (I liken him to a design fairy coming around with a magic wand that spreads whimsy in little bursts of candy apple red and sunshine yellow). Add green trays or blue handles. Given Nomono’s modular nature—very modular, in fact–you can sprinkle your own touches just about everywhere. For a wonderful demonstration of Nomono’s components, watch the demonstration video. Suffice to say that you can have cabinets tall and short, credenzas deep and narrow, desks alone or grouped.

Mattson’s entry into work-oriented furniture comes in junction with Swedish manufacturer Horreds, founded in 1936 by Sven Johansson and still run by his family—making their motto, “furniture for life,” rather true in terms of genetic career predisposition. The combination of experience and innovation makes Nomono even better, since Horreds’ know-how tempers any of Mattson’s wild design proclivities. Nomono wants to make our lives easier—my life easier—by taking my needs into account without ignoring my desires. For instance, the legs have full sides, allowing me to hide whatever I like under my desk (bare feet, errant piles of paper, the gnomes who tell me what to do). Mattson intends for Nomono to “calm down an environment that can be experienced as chaotic.” For me, the best feature of the entire modular system is the adjustable-height work surface. You can stand while you type, sit while you type, kneel while you type—and moving around while working is what is decidedly lacking in modern-day office habit. Since we are tied to our computers as if the very keys were glued to our fingertips, we might as well admit it. Thankfully, Mattson has taken the first step for us—admitting that we have a problem. And his adjustable solution solves at least some of our addiction problems. Ergonomic, sleek, and still playful, Mattson’s Nomono will ease the pain that comes from work (physical, for certain, and maybe even emotional).

Leave a Reply