Called DeskTop, the exhibition is on show at the Walter Knoll showroom in London’s Clerkenwell. It reveals the workspaces of eight figures, all captured by photographer Anton Rodriguez.
Johanna Agerman Ross, who is also founder of design magazine Disegno, reveals a Haggerston desk located beside an extensive library, while Mike Holland from Foster + Partners shows his space inside the firm’s huge Battersea office.
In the exhibition, each photograph is presented alongside an object (or several) chosen by the owner of the workspace, to represent their mode of working.
Next to the image of her London Bridge workspace, which features a range of drawing pencils and crayons, architect Sevil Peach presents a Stanley tape measure.
“A very useful friend, small enough to be in my pocket, light enough to be in my bag, which came out of a cracker one happy Christmas lunch,” the architect said. “I am always curious to check dimensions, as I like to relate to objects and spaces one on one.”
The workspace of Serpentine Gallery CEO Yana Peel, which doubles as a space for her to meet artists and curators, is shown alongside a MacBook, a mobile phone with a personalised cover and a range of art books.
In the exhibition, it is displayed beside a copy of the Financial Times Weekend magazine.
“It was Andy Warhol who said: ‘Good business is the best art’,” said Peel. “I welcome collaboration between culture and commerce – their interdependence is vital for creatively addressing the biggest issues of our day. Plus the FT thinks big – it thinks pink!”
The workspace of Tony Chambers – brand and content director at Wallpaper* magazine – is located inside his Barbican apartment. In the image, it features coloured glassware and a wooden desk tidy.
For the exhibition, this is presented with an Equilibre d’Hermès magnifying glass and a Loupe lens, to represent the detail and focus required for his editorial and graphic design work.
“Having studied and practiced typography, graphic design and printing for many years, quality and fine details are extremely important to me,” said Chambers.
“A magnifying lens is therefore an essential tool. The classic, simple Loupe is great to carry around, but the sculptural Hermès magnifying glass is a desktop work of art.”
Finally, Hassell’s Matthew Blain showcases a desk in the firm’s Shoreditch office, covered in drawings and material samples. In the exhibition, this is presented with a book about fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
The exhibition was curated by Jonathan Openshaw. His aim was to showcase how, in the digital age, the physical desk is still important.
“The nine-to-five workplace is going through a time of unprecedented change, driven by technological and demographic shifts,” said Openshaw.
“As our working lives become more portable, flexible and virtual, the line between business and leisure, home and office, is blurring. DeskTop asks questions about the way we work today and how we might work better tomorrow.”
“We cannot exist in VR enhanced digital bubbles,” he added. “I think there will always be a place for wood, paper and ink in how we work through ideas and make imaginative leaps.”
DeskTop is on show at the Walter Knoll showroom at 42 Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 6EA, until 30 November 2017.
It follows a similar theme to a recent photography series by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney, which presents the pencils of numerous architects, designers and artists, including Tracey Emin, John Pawson and Paul Smith.
DeskTop follows a similar theme to a photography series by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney, titled The Secret Life of the Pencil, which presents the drawing tools of architects and designers.
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