Dear Re-form Person;

I was driving home during Hurricane Irene, and I’m almost sure I saw someone assisting the Coast Guard doing rescue work in the harbor- in a desk! I slept very little the night before, so it’s not hard to believe I was seeing things – but is this possible?

Seen It All

You are correct SIA. What you saw was the product of an ultra-secret division of Re-form. While this team is widely ridiculed by the bulk of Re-form’s conventional commercial staff, they are doing groundbreaking work in the field of Adaptive Office Furniture Re-Use (AOFR).

Like so many other truly great innovations, this one has its origins in the field of marketing. You see, many people consider a “furniture emergency” a burned-out task light bulb or a bad gas-lift in a task chair. While Re-form takes these problems seriously and corrects them with lightning speed, exhaustive marketing studies have found that office furniture should never be thought of as the cause of an emergency. Rather, it should be considered a solution.  And, as the marketing theory goes, office furniture should be a solution to nothing less than natural disasters such as the recent hurricane, and even the last earthquake. Hence, what you saw was a desk, converted to a Rapid Response Lifesaving Vessel.

R&D for this craft was rigorous. Steelcase and Haworth both had more than serviceable desks, but for tough amphibious work we chose the plucky Meridian corner desk. And not before several failed attempts with less expensive mid-market brands. Not surprisingly, particle board units quickly absorbed water making them dangerously unstable and worse yet, left oily slicks behind them.

An earlier abortive but well intended effort was the Submersible Haworth Personal Storage Tower. Anecdotally, during a covert Coast Guard inspection of the sub two years ago, the operator was asked how deep this marvel would go – to which the hapless fellow fatefully replied, “all the way to the bottom, sir.”

While it is easy to think of this R&D as sophisticated and cutting-edge, there is evidence that these experiments are not new. For example, research of WWII narratives finds several references to aging pilots being required to “fly a desk”, which leads Re-form researchers to believe that it might not be as dangerous as it seems. Keep your eyes to the sky SIA.