2012 Design Contest: The Workforce
Rachelle Bugeaud’s desk changes with every use.
Photography by Aaron Pedersen/3 Ten; hair and makeup by Nicola Gavins
Rachelle Bugeaud is a compulsive doodler. She can fill up a sketchbook in two weeks.
And it’s through those doodles that the Workforce was born. “I think I sketched what I overheard people talking about – hearing conversations about fitting something into grooves,” says Bugeaud, a graduate of the University of Alberta’s design program. “It was a subconscious thing.”
The Workforce began as her fourth-year design project. The first iteration of the desk features a medium-density fibreboard top and fitted grooves nearly two-centimetres long. Accessories, from writing surfaces to mousepads to pencil holders, fit into the tracks and slide in and out as needed. What Bugeaud has created is a malleable workspace.
The piece is constantly evolving; she wants to make it collapsible, without fixed legs so it can be disassembled and fit into the box. As well, she is now making the accessories out of coloured, environmentally friendly epoxies, which she says is “one of the toughest things to do in design, to make it more palatable for the environment.”
Instead of grooved bottoms, the next-generation accessories have fitting nubs that allow them to be placed either length-wise or width-wise. In the next generation, desk items are yellow, accessories go into blue containers, planters are pink and writing areas are black. “[People] like to categorize things,” she says.
Different accessories can be made for different users. “The endless design possibilities for the plates permit the creation of lines, such as a series of top pieces for painters, another for tailors, one for gardening or any other activity.”
Bugeaud now works for local architects, ziola newstudio, where she’s doing some interior design and bringing a new voice to the table. And, maybe soon, that table in the firm’s downtown studio will be a version of the Workforce.