Standing desks might be in vogue at the moment, but a new art project takes the concept one step further by putting you inside a hamster wheel while you’re at your workstation. An ingenious way of exercising mind and body at the same time? Or a symbol of the neverending treadmill of work that dominates modern life? You decide.
The wheel was constructed in just 24 hours by Robb Godshaw, currently artist-in-residence at Autodesk’s Pier 9 facility in San Francisco, and software engineer Will Doenlen. The duo have put together a YouTube video showing their creation in action, though the fact that it’s labelled with the “Comedy” tag shows they’re perhaps not serious about bringing this to market.
“Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work,” says Godshaw in an explanatory blog post, perhaps only half-joking. “Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel. Step forward into the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk that will usher in a new era of unprecedented productivity.”
Whether you think you’d use one at your office or not, it’s an impressive piece of product design. The circular wheel rests on four skateboard wheels built into the base, so it automatically spins as the user walks forward (or falls backward). If you want to put together your own version, all the documentation you need is available on the Instructables website. You’ll need four sheets of plywood, four skate wheels, two pipes, 240 wood screws, a pint of glue and “a good attitude” according to the designers.
There are some serious points behind the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk — the dangers of both an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy focus on work to the exclusion of everything else. Are you tempted to construct your own version? Or are you happy with your existing setup? Let us know in the comments.