Erik Rietveld: Imagining a world without chairs

Philosopher and founding member of RAAAF, Erik Rietveld speaks about creating work that is at the intersection of art and architecture.

Erik Rietveld is a founding partner of Amsterdam-based Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances (RAAAF), a design studio that operates at the crossroads of architecture, art and science.

The multidisciplinary and experimental studio specialises in architectural installations that are socially relevant. Their latest exhibition, The End of Sitting, tackles the dangers of the modern office. “It is a vision of the office of the future,” says Rietveld. Medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects.

The architects developed a concept where the chair and desk are no longer office necessities. Instead, the installation’s various elements solicit visitors to explore different standing positions in an experimental work landscape. The End of Sitting marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring the possibilities of radical change for the working environment.

“We started thinking about how a world without chairs would look like. But we first tried to come up with his vision of the office of the future that is not based on sitting but rather on supportive standing," says Rietveld.