We’ve noticed recently that the Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, has been making some inroads (pun intended) into the workplace, or more specifically the mobile workplace.
You might remember something that we shared back in February. Nissan combined its intelligent parking assist technology with office chairs to create modern office furniture that tidied itself away!
Since then they’ve expanded this concept with their new ‘self-driving chair’; the ProPilot. It detects when a spot is free at the front of a queue and moves whoever is sat in second place to the head of the queue. Then everyone shifts up behind them and the empty chair glides to the back of the line.
This is obviously most relevant to anywhere with a queue, like the sushi bar where they tested it. In years to come it could I suppose be used in an office reception area, possibly during interviews. However, it does all seem a bit too regimented and formal. This kind of automated future is far too clinical for my liking.
If this seems like a bit of a stretch for a mobile workplace, Nissan decided to go one step further and actually adapt one of their vehicles into a moveable office.
e NV200 WORKSPACe
Nissan collaborated with UK design workshop Studio Hardie to transform their e-NV200 electric van into the world’s first all-electric mobile office.
The ‘e-NV200 WORKSPACe’ includes an integrated fold-out desk, touchscreen computer, wireless internet, wireless phone charger, Bluetooth audio system, smartphone-controlled LED lights, mini fridge; and barista-style coffee machine!
It’s certainly an extreme example of hot desking, but it actually has some interesting implications on office design. In particular, the best use of space saving. Since everything that we do is based on the idea of optimising space, we especially like the economic use of pop-up features, like the concealed coffee machine.
It’s also worth pointing out the customisable nature of the design. While choosing the colour scheme of a car is something that we’re all used to, who’s to say that the office of the future won’t allow us to adapt our workspace to match our mood? The intelligent lighting system in the ‘e-NV200 WORKSPACe’ can be adjusted using a smartphone app to match a chosen colour scheme, including the palette of your favourite photo!
We’re certainly not suggesting that Paramount will be designing car interiors in the coming decades, but there are certainly aspects of this mobile workplace that highlight the importance of flexible, personal spaces in any office.
Images from Nissan