Healthier Office Spaces Benefit Everyone

desk plants photo

All Images by B. Alter: The Living Office

Research has shown that a healthy office space with plants and open windows is more conducive to productivity. Somehow we didn't need scientists to tell us that there is a link between flowers, plants, a pleasant environment and workplace satisfaction. At the Chelsea Flower Show, the Living Office is a conceptual response to the issue.

Designed by Vitra, in association with Indoor Garden Design, an office landscape company, this gives new meaning to the office plant. It's a neat and modern looking desk and work station that looks like a good reason to come to work every day.

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Living Wall at the Living Office

It could be called "gardener at work." Using components designed by Vitra's office range, in the little trays on the desk fruits and vegetables for lunch are growing. There are strawberries, tomatoes (this could get tricky...), mint and chives. A fish tank acts as a grey water filtration system to feed the plants. Of course there is a compost bin to recycle the left-over lunch waste. As the compost is rotting, it supplies some ambient heat for the work place as well. Although it's not clear what it would smell like....

The living wall contains some every-day plants such as the spider, but places it in a new and more interesting context. And reduces the carbon dioxide in the air. The warm air from the cooling fan is siphoned into a little green house to grow the peppers. The dirty water from the fish tank is pumped into the irrigation system that feeds the plants on the desk top and the plant wall.

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Perfect backdrop for the Eames Chair

The benefits of a healthy office environment are too many to be overlooked. They raise the humidity levels, people demonstrate more innovative thinking and they lower building and heating costs.


Image from fineartamerica

One of the easiest and best to keep around is the Spider plant. The variegated one, with the white striped leaves, has been found by NASA to remove indoor pollutants.


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The Ficus is another good one; it stands tall and helps purify the air. Orchids remove xylene, which can cause headaches and dizziness, from the air.

Gerbera daisies, those colourful and striking flowers that come in hot pinks and oranges, remove toxic vapours from the air.

So bring in a plant from home for your desk and feel better about yourself and the environment.

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