The Skeuo Office

Research project on the workplace

In a world where the workspace is becoming more and more generic, Moniker and LRvH introduce skeuomorphism in order to make it feel familiar again.

Jump to synchronize the office floor with the work you are doing!

The Generic Workplace

The desktop of Ray Eames, 1976
Generic workspace with digital desktop

The Skeuo Office is a research project on physical workspaces in government buildings, commissioned by the Dutch Chief Government Architect. The goal is to stimulate ‘activity based’ working ➝ Employees no longer have their own desks, but share generic spaces that are optimized for the various tasks they need to perform.

The problem is that these generic workspaces make it hard for employees to feel at home in their work environment. The empty, flexible desktop lacks a personal touch that reveals the personality of and work done by the employee sitting at it every day.


In order to familiarise people with the idea of owning digital books, Apple referred to the physical qualities of a wooden bookcase

As a speculative solution to this problem, Moniker and LRvH propose skeuomorphism as a method for employees to familiarize their generic work environments.

In interface design, skeuomorphism is regularly employed to facilitate a switch from analogue to digital applications. Physical qualities of the original application are retained as ornamental features in order to allow users to tell what the new application provides or does based on its appearance.

The Skeuo Office