George Costanza had a knack for devising underhanded schemes to avoid doing a good day’s work, a personality trait that peaked in the classic Seinfeld episode in which he commissioned a specially constructed desk that concealed a hidden sleeping compartment underneath so he could sneak in some naps with neither his boss nor his co-worker being the wiser.
Naturally, the whole thing blew up in his face — but that doesn’t mean ol’ Georgie Boy wasn’t onto something, and enterprising Greek design firm Studio NL has taken his nap-on-the-job concept and made a real prototype.
Looks like a normal desk…
At first glance, it appears to be a typical desk, with a generously sized desktop to accommodate a computer, files, office supplies and whatnot. Like one of James Bond’s high-tech gadgets however, a hidden mechanism reveals the desk’s true purpose when its front folds out to reveal a bed concealed beneath.
A sleek, white leather pad makes for what appears to be a very generous mattress, with the desk’s sides folding outward to provide some bonus snoozing room. There’s even a built-in under-desk area where a small flat-screen TV can be mounted, perfect for those times when you’d like to add a little binge-watching to your office nap.
A multipurpose masterpiece
Dubbed the “1.6 S.M. of Life Desk” (named for its dimensions, two sides that are .08 metres in length) its inventor, Athanasia Leivaditou, says she came up with the idea for this multipurpose masterpiece while studying in New York City, working in a small, cramped studio and wishing there was a cozy little nook where she could sneak in a little shuteye. “…Inspiration came from my exhausting classmates that did not have an apartment close the university,” she says, noting that her they “were putting chairs together in order to take a nap during the night at graduate school.” However, it’s not just Costanza wannabes who are impressed with the desk; Leivaditou was also recognized by A’Design Award & Competition, and she explains the thinking behind her design.
“The main concept was to comment on the fact that many times our lives are ‘shrinking’ in order to fit into the confined space of our office,” she says. “Eventually, I realized that each civilization may have a very different perception of things depending on its social context. For example, this desk could be used for a siesta or for a few hours of sleep at night on those days when someone struggles to meet deadlines.”
The desk, she says, combines work and rest into one piece of convertible, space-saving furniture, with “the combination of two totally opposite functions” meant to meet the “hectic schedule of the contemporary working man [sic], [for whom getting] rest during the day (or even during the night) is a luxury.”
For now, the nifty lacquered-wood nap desk is only a prototype, but drowsy office-workers throughout the world anxiously await the day the real deal will start rolling off assembly lines and transforming their dreams of sleeping on the job into Seinfeld-ian reality.