Project “Office work in bed” (Büroarbeit im Bett), Vienna, 1974
Noever’s ideas mainly aimed at drawing attention to the partially alienating working conditions of the time and at creating a new experience through strategic adaptation to more natural needs. Noever’s demonstration picture “Live in the office?” shows this most aptly. He comments it with the following: “We not only live at home. Our home is also the office – or that of our financial advisor, or our doctor’s waiting room. Do we really feel at home where we spend eight hours working? Are we not living in a grey and miserable production line atmosphere? Why is it not possible to design our offices according to our own taste and character?” asks Peter Noever.
Noever’s style is unmistakable here, as in many of his other published texts: his questions are like arrows trained directly at certain social blemishes.
They are questions that aim to trigger awareness, and questions committed to that one and only attitude once called social humanism. It is a position that links Noever intellectually with the Frankfurt School. Although he always saw something more than ergonomic calculations in design, Noever took the pragmatic path of concrete change; it was the “overruling category for changing the environment”. Design for him was also an instrument for political intervention.