December 6, 2018
Office work has existed in some form ever since people started writing on tablets and papyrus. Depictions of clerical staff are common in the Bible and on the walls of pyramids. In the mid 14th Century the Church of San Nicolò, commissioned the artist Tomaso da Modena to create the fresco in the chapter room of the church depicting forty monks of the order hard at it at their desks. The word office itself derives from the famous Uffizi in Florence, created in 1560. Things picked up after the Industrial Revolution, as is evident from the work of Charles Dickens amongst others. The first recognisable swivel chairs were developed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Stoll and Peter Ten Eyck. These developments have tracked wider social, economic and cultural trends so the history of office furniture design holds a mirror to the world.