I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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It will when you see this gorgeously versatile and modular Joyn workspace:


Designed by the Bouroullec brothers, it’s too cool to be called a desk or even a furniture system. It’s an office platform.

Instead of mind-numbing cubicles, colleagues sit right next to each other around modular table units. This promotes collaboration, communication, and conversation. If you want a touch of privacy, just put up a short removable partition in one of several hip retro colors.

Too bad, a single unit table costs $3,000 bucks. It doesn’t hurt the wallet to fantasize, though.

Check out some super-staged, clutter-free shots below:

Joyn shot 1 Joyn shot 2 Joyn shot 3 Joyn shot 4 Joyn shot 5

Of course, having a super well-designed workspace won’t guarantee collaboration if you just sit zoned-out all day in front of the computer. True office collaboration still requires you to get up and actually talk to people. And no, IM doesn’t count.

What’s your office space like? Do you work in a cubicle or an open-plan office. Is it collaborative or more of a lone-ranger culture?


  • Rafael Madeira

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    7:44 am

    At first glance the gorgeously versatile and modular Joyn workspace just looks like a giant table to me. It seems that what’s so novel about it is that it can be modularized into the cubicles everyone’s familiar with.

    I guess the colored dividers add style and organization, but really. It’s a real big table.

  • Chanpory

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    7:50 am

    Yes, it’s totally just one big pretty table. But I quite like the nice little details like the central channel that lets you to attach shelves, and lamps. Of course, it only accepts propriety attachments, so it’s yet another addition to the already hefty price tag.

    Ikea needs to copy or appropriate this idea for the rest of us!

  • Ashley

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    8:03 am

    But what happens when things like papers, and files, and post-its, and telephones, and little framed pictures enter the eqution? This system looks great, but it’s clear that no one is working anywhere near where these photos were taken.

    I work in a university setting, and each person on our team has his/her own office. We have a small conference room that we use for meetings. Previously, I worked in an office with an open floor plan. The design of the space was really cool, but I have too much ADD to be around that many conversations. :) When I have work to do that requires focus, nothing does the trick for me like a closed door and some good ol’ fashioned silence.

  • Jeremy Sisson

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    8:33 am

    A collective shudder from those of us who like a few hours of uninterrupted work.

  • sterling

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    8:53 am

    These open workspaces are great for team collaboration, except when you throw in the one jackass who won’t shut up and who insists on yelling across the room to talk to people instead getting out of his chair to walk to another person’s desk to speak with them quietly. I long for the days when I had my own office. I can’t believe I voluntarily left that job.

  • Pedro

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    4:42 pm

    I want one of this for my office…

  • Jason

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    4:58 pm

    I work in an office that is pretty much this open. We have individual desks, but are constantly in collaboration. It’s the only way I could work doing what I do (Interactive Producer in a team of 5). I understand that this wouldnt’ work for most jobs, but it’s great for us. And whenever we need to zone out and get somethign done, we just sport some headphones. It means, I can’t hear you, and I don’t want to hear you so leave me alone. That is, until we start throwing things…

  • Bryan

    gravatarApr 11, 2007
    5:21 pm

    The pictures above are the dream. It’s only great if it is kept clean and if you can easily move things around.

    “But what happens when things like papers, and files, and post-its, and telephones, and little framed pictures enter the eqution?”

    The reality is that nobody is going to keep the space clean. It will get messy and dirty, and people won’t move anything around because it’s too much of a hassle and you’d have to get everyone to move their crap. So you’ll end up with something that’s not quite a cubicle. Because instead of a wall between you and your obnoxious neighbor, you have a little piece of cardboard. A little piece of cardboard that is below eye level, and does precious little to block the sight or noise of your coworkers.

    This is one of those designs where after it fails miserably the designer claims it would have been perfect except for all those people who didn’t use it the right way. Good design is built around people and the way people work. This ain’t it!

  • Charles Wilson

    gravatarApr 12, 2007
    2:48 am

    From a design point of view it look really sweet. Clean and clear cut. How can one be productive in it is a question that I will like to know.

    No holding area for papers or clear cut placeholder for on going task will mean that I will spend some time prior and after work setting up and clearing up.

    The lack of filing space or cabinets simply means that I will have to move somewhere to get my stored documents and (horror) keeping documents into my own briefcase. Bringing work back home anyone?

  • localformat

    gravatarApr 12, 2007
    8:33 am

    Any self respecting designer should know how to build this same desk using standard off the shelf items for a fraction of the cost. Get rid of the dividers all together, what do they do anyways?

  • David Airey :: Creative Design ::

    gravatarApr 13, 2007
    7:22 am

    I’ll get my friend to build me one, then extend my room to allow it to fit. Easy.

  • Jen

    gravatarApr 18, 2007
    4:40 am

    I worked briefly at a company with a group desk thingy like this. Here in Holland this layout is very typical, especially in design and marketing shops. I hated hated hated it. We first had no where at all to put any personal items (backpack, purse, etc) except in cubbies on the other side of the room. I tried to keep my workspace clean, my neighbor did not. The whole concept invites a notion of total lack of any personal space. When I’m brainstorming and working throug ideas, I don’t really want to share the brainfarts that come first.

    People would set their crap down on my workspace and walk away. I’d come back from lunch to find people sitting on my workspace in an ‘informal brainstorm meeting’ To keep clutter in check, we had a rule about how many knick-knacks and personal items we could leave in our space, leaving me feeling like I was totally subjected to the personal tastes of my boss – which really stifled my own creativity.

    Most of these spaces work best for public libraries or internet cafes. It makes for a space that might impress your clients with its slickness, but it’s like working in an office run by big brother. Creativity cannot be so regulated.

  • p

    gravatarJun 14, 2007
    9:41 am

    Looks great, but in reality, it’s absolutely impractical. If you have ever worked in an office environment, you know that you can not control who your cubicle mates will be and if they will be as neat or messy as you.

    This set up looks like it might work for temporary consultants, but definitely not for full timers or even part timers. But would you actually spend that much money for temporary consultants?

  • damares

    gravatarAug 21, 2007
    1:45 pm

    horrifying. has anyone been to the welfare department? very similar if not identical. also, it seems the ‘rude/annoying/obtrusive/slacker coworker’ was not mixed into the equation… i don’t like it. the design seems it would work better in a class room type setting.

  • Jay

    gravatarAug 21, 2007
    1:56 pm

    Looks like one of my personal versions of hell. Makes me thankful for what I have, I suppose.

  • Ronni

    gravatarAug 28, 2007
    2:57 pm

    My workspace is kind of a mix of both. No cubicle walls, and we’re in pods of four. Not much privacy, but at least it’s not a long table, which I think was the original plan before people put up a big stink. We’re editors, so we need SOME kind of shield so we can concentrate!

  • Betty

    gravatarNov 22, 2007
    4:56 am

    Gear up for grub with a tripleheader of pigskin, including a meeting of brothers in Dallas. Everybody knows it’s been a rough year for her, but find out who else had issues

  • Joe

    gravatarApr 3, 2008
    9:35 am

    Yeah, my workspace sucks. I work at a joyn. It’s a joke. There’s zero privacy and constant noise. Most of us wear headphones now. God I hate my job. I can’t really do my job. There’s no way to concentrate with all the distractions. What a waste of money. All because somebody wanted us to look ‘cool’.

  • Emmy

    gravatarMay 20, 2008
    4:51 pm

    Well, the ‘Management’ powers-that-be at my law firm were completely short sighted when they dumped the open plan scenario on us.

    I can see why a collaborative environment would be essential for group tasks like some mentioned above. However, I am a solicitor and my work is 90% solitary by nature. Except now, I lose about 50% of my work focus/output due to yabbering workmates on their phones, dictation machines. I sometimes find myself staring blankly at my screen having forgot what I was doing five seconds prior. This happens about 15-20 times a day. Productive? I think not.

  • Jay

    gravatarJun 26, 2008
    10:43 pm

    My productivity is highest when I’m fully relaxed.

    I enjoy being in my workspace, and I can work productively for many hours without feeling like I’ve lost my humanity. I make your workspace look attractive to ME.

    Use only living, oxygen-generating plants, not lifeless fake ones.

    I love scented candles, especially the 3–³x6–³ pillars. They not only make my office smell good, but the colorful candles and decorative candle holders add visual appeal as well. My favorites aromas are vanilla and lemon. I have almost a dozen scented candles in my office at any one time.

    I use the free WinAmp player and listen to streaming music from Digitally Imported.

    I tested dozens of different chairs before picking this one. It’s about 10 years old now though, so this would probably be a good time for me to take another look to see if I can find an even better one.

    True office collaboration still requires you to get up and actually talk to people.

    Clean and clear cut

  • Jon Guck

    gravatarDec 21, 2008
    6:53 pm

    These spaces are designed or bought by managers who look for “synergy”, and a pat on the back for thinking in those terms. These layouts are completley in-effective. Privacy results in higher productivity, and better results. Any small conference room can be used for collaborating, when needed, which is about 10% of the time.Anybody who sits in these things 10 hours a day will tell you the same thing.