Office for Movement Advancement and Research (OMAR)

By Julia Bradshaw

Imagine applying for a job you see posted on Craigslist for a position of Office Worker and finding yourself in the midst of an artistic-experimental-creative-office world. This is what Rick Lau did when he sent his c.v. to Nancy Nowacek in an earnest response to her request for office workers. Following a ‘phone interview, which he took very seriously, he was appointed to the position. He was one of two workers selected from over 92 applicants for the two-week position and was not fully prepared for his first day of work in South Hall.

It is fortunate that he does not mind being the center of attention as he perches upon what looks like a sand-pit hemmed in by boxes of office paper. He does realize the incongruity of his position and is aware that he is somewhat of a spectacle but he seems to earnestly believe in what Nowacek is trying to achieve by her playful re-situation of a standard office space. Apparently buried under the six tones of sand are a table and a chair. Nowacek and her office workers spent their workshop time in South Hall creating the office space and developing mounds and areas to work in.

In creating the space, Nowacek is concerned with asking her audience to think about how much time they are SITTING in an office space (as I am doing now). She is earnestly advocating a need to design spaces that enable knowledge workers to move and flex and kneel as they undertake their duties. By creating this playful space, she is working to convince the viewer that it is time to develop a healthier manner of working. She and her workers are also collecting movement data, so this is likely not the end of this project.

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