Helinox's Tactical Field Office Lets You Work From Anywhere

This new collection might be an interesting option for working from home.

Helinox Collection


Witold Rybczynski explains in his book "Home" that "people didn’t live in homes so much as camp in them" in the Middle Ages. In "Mechanization Takes Command," Siegfried Giedion writes these were times of “profound insecurity, both social and economic, constraining merchants and feudal lords to take their possessions with them whenever they could, for no one knew what havoc might be loosed once the gates were closed behind him. The deeply rooted in the French word for furniture, meuble, is the idea of the movable, the transportable.“

chair and table folding


Had Helinox's Tactical Collection been around 500 years ago, it would likely have been a hit. Two hundred years ago, British officers would have recognized it as campaign furniture, which came apart and folded up so they could live in comfort and style wherever they were pillaging.

We have written before (alas, now archived) about how we should learn from camping and camping equipment about how to live in small spaces. The tiny house and van life trends make light, folding furniture even more useful and attractive.

"The Tactical Collection is a rugged, utilitarian line of products designed to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts who expect their gear to perform, and each piece in the line was crafted for durability, reliability, and with new, integrated carry options, storage and designs."
Tactical Desk


The Tactical Field Office looks attractive in these times when people are working from home, are in hybrid situations, or don't really know what is happening when the pandemic ends. It's so light that you could take it with you and set it up anywhere. It weighs less than 5 pounds, has a 915 cubic inch storage bag that can carry your chair and your laptop, which is protected by the exterior frame when you are on the move.

Carrying Helinox Desk


“The Tactical Field Office is one of the best examples of how our design team is consistently pushing to create products that are versatile, built tough and get us outside more,” said Azul Couzens, VP of Sales and Marketing, Helinox North America. “This past year has demonstrated that we can work almost anywhere and that people really want to get outdoors, and we’ve built a lightweight, functional office kit with a multitude of uses in mind.”

sitting at desk


It doesn't exactly look ergonomically correct; sitting in the Helinox chair at the Tactical Field Office desk might be hard on your back after a while. Perhaps Helinox will come out with a slightly higher table for those who are stuck at their desk for long periods.

helinox desk separated


But it is a way of looking at interior design and furnishing that we should be thinking about more, rethinking what we call furniture and perhaps describing it in French as les meubles.

At the beginning of the pandemic when everyone had to suddenly work from home, I wrote:

"In 1985 Philip Stone and Robert Luchetti wrote in the Harvard Business Review that the new wireless office phones (infrared at the time) would change everything, that you would no longer be fixed to a desk but instead, Your office is where you are. It's taken 35 years to prove Stone and Luchetti were right, but it is really true now."

What would Stone and Luchetti think about tech pioneer Marc Andreeson's recent comments in an interview with Noah Smith? Andreeson said:

"Think about what we’ve done. Five billion people are now carrying networked supercomputers in their pockets. Anyone in the world can create a website and publish anything they want, can communicate with anyone or everyone, can access virtually any information that has ever existed."

It is a trend that is not limited to electronics or just our jobs: look at what has happened to the way we cook, we have gone from giant heavy cast-iron stoves to light induction hobs that we can hang on the wall or stick in a drawer. If people have TVs at all, they are an inch thick. Almost everything is becoming light and moveable.

This also has a huge impact on our carbon footprints; smaller, lighter stuff, especially things like furniture, have less material in them, which means less embodied carbon.

Borgese for LifeEdited
LifeEdited apartment proposal.

Borghese for LifeEdited

When I was a judge in Treehugger founder Graham Hill's LifeEdited competition to design a tiny apartment, one of my favorite entries was this one, which reconstructed an Airstream trailer at one end that included the kitchen and bath, and left everything else open so that you essentially camped in your apartment. I thought it was a brilliant use of a tiny space. I wondered if this wasn't a good way to think about small space living, to basically camp indoors, which almost everyone did 500 years ago. Rooms served many purposes—you rearranged the furniture according to the functions required. Everything was movable or demountable; tables were set on trestles or collapsible x-braces. That’s why we have phrases like “clear the hall” and “turn the tables”—that is what you did after every meal.

desk detached


Helinox designed its tactical collection for the outdoors, but it makes just as much sense indoors, in these times of profound insecurity when so many people are on the move. Because the old cliché is wrong, you can take it with you.