This is the main room of my old loft in NYC, which had 18 windows and got fantastic light. Too fantastic, at least when it was time to work, as bouncing light provided screen glare no matter where the monitor was.
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To compensate, I hung some aluminum tubing from the ceiling and ordered these lightweight blackout curtains off of Amazon. When I need to work, I drew the curtains closed all around the desk. This solved the problem and I used this system for years, until I left the city.
My solution was admittedly extreme, and I didn’t care what it looked like. But New-Zealand-based industrial design consultancy Formworks mocked up a more elegant solution designed to appeal to normal people. During the lockdown, as working from home became a thing, they identified the key pain point: “People need separation (both physically and mentally); an area where they can escape distractions (both visible and audible), and feel like they are sitting in their office rather than their lounge.”
“We thought this sounded like a problem worth solving.”
“Early on in the process we decided to focus our efforts on a built-in solution rather than a standalone solution. Research and common sense told us that there is a trend towards high-density housing, with young professionals moving into apartments and row-houses in large cities, with many of these houses having little room for a WFH office space. This is the market we are targeting with this concept. We want to create a long-lasting, high-quality product that will really add value to its users over the long-term.”
Here’s the mechanism in action:
“We are still working on this concept and hope to take it to the next stage of prototyping and testing soon, but we would love to hear your feedback. Would a privacy screen like this suit your WFH needs? Is there something we’ve missed? Send us a DM on Instagram @formworksdesign and let us know!”