One central unit, composed out of a variety of dispensers, will provide coffee and paper, as well as sugar and pencils. It is the beating heart of the bar. It allows you to serve yourself when you feel like it and offers you basic tools to stay there for an unlimited period of time doing nothing, working, waiting, chatting, etc.  The transparency of the construction reveals its content on first glance, making it understandable, demonstrating its diversity and thus working against the image of an anonymous automat.

Concepts /

SelfService /

Can we redefine the office?

SelfService is a place that offers a combination of hi-tec work appliances  in a low-tec finishing.

It’s is a semi-public place, an informal, inviting space that is operated by the customer himself.

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The service

Benches, sofas and tables in different heights are clustered together in a universal style and form a playful conglomerate of furniture, where you can choose the part which best suits your momentary needs.

The furnishing

The space encourages its visitors to subtly interact with it. The customer can leave some traces and look or react on those of others; This could happen by copying music files from your predecessor or uploading your own collection to the mp3-jukebox, as well as just leaving the newspaper or your sketches on the draftboard.

The interaction.

Each SelfService is locally attached to a state or city-owned institution like libraries, city halls, swimming-halls or museums, both providing it with a central position in the city -within reach for people from outside- and also nurturing its pool of clients out of the institutions users. It is also these institutions that provide surveillance and maintenance and define its opening hours.

The location.

Project synthesis

Fast travelling methods and new communication techniques have provided us with a new social software that enable us to broaden our living and working area. Yet, our hardware (shops, bars, hotels,...) has barely changed, leaving us frequently wandering around for accidental meetingplaces, familiar stops or plug-in offices.

SelfService is an attempt to fill this gap, It envisions an ‘inbetween place’ where customers can both relax and work. It offers a setting for untroubled reading afternoons but also provides a suitable infrastructure for casual bussiness meetings or working outdoors.

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Concept & design

Brussels - 2004

Thomas Lommée

Christiane Hoegner