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Back to the Office

Join us for the book launch of Back tot the Office at Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam with Stephan Petermann, Ruth Baumeister and Marieke van den Heuvel. 



Able to work anywhere – and in unpredictable times, often forced to – we have a tortured relationship with the office today. Desperate to work again in physically shared spaces, we are also now questioning whether offices – and the demanding, alienating rhythms they impose on us – are needed at all.

Offices themselves labour under intolerable forces too: twenty-first-century building regulations suggest redesigning them every seven-to-ten years, managerial strategies typically shift every five years, and employees churn every two. As a result, offices are torn down, stripped out, rethought and renewed with alarming frequency. 


About the book

Using before-and-after photography, archival documents, contemporary interviews and critical essays, this book engages corporations, architects, workers, building managers, regulators and others – all in search of the lessons we need to learn from a very recent time when there was an unambivalent enthusiasm for office life. More info and order


Thursday Night Live

With the future of our workspaces so uncertain, Back to the Office works overtime inside the revolutionary offices of the twentieth century, and asks what endured from their architecture, their materials, and the ideologies of work they embodied. On September 15, during Thursday Night Live! at Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam, Ruth Baumeister will illustrate their research, Stephan Petermann presents the 500 page book and takes Marieke van den Heuvel you on a journey through the process of designing this book. 

Free entrance (limited seats) Please register here


This event is a collaboration between NAibooksellers and Het Nieuwe Instituut