Small and sound-proofed pods are practically synonymous with the reimagined and modern phone booth. Better yet, they are recognised as a viable means for private spaces—be it for office or recreational work.
That being said, as personalised spaces, owners can employ their creative faculties to decorate and customise these office phone booths. Some people may even extend the booth’s functionality to more recreational purposes, especially during a pandemic where most of our time is spent lingering around at home.
Office pods often come in beige and white colours, and while some may choose to keep it sleek and minimalist, others may choose to spruce up the office pod with a wild-ranging series of murals, colours, and designs. In Nevada, Cubicall’s founders Anthony and Nick Pucci re-envisioned modern phone booth as promising spaces for work and play. Over time, they also came to roll out a line of booths which were outfitted with Superman decals alongside red and yellow patterned themes.
As someone who leans towards fantastically designed modern phone booth, a fun space can motivate me to concentrate and do more work. Either way, who says that office phone booths need to be boring?
And if you’re not too inclined to the superhero-themed booths, you can draw inspiration from other instances of creative genius. Check out a village in Northhampshire, which reinvented the normal red telephone box into a TARDIS as a tribute to Doctor Who.
Hobbying from Home
Office pods aren’t merely jazzed-up modern phone booths; they can be more. Moving beyond repurposed office pods, the utility of private pods can further extend to function as recreational and business amenities.
For one, cinephiles are currently facing two-by-two seating restrictions in Singapore’s theatres—and with popular films like Shang-Chi and Spiderman coming out, it’s often hard to snag any tickets at all. Needless to say, by virtue of the pod’s soundproofing, private, and comfortable nature, there’s no need to worry about cutting out on the cinematic experience. Just imagine blasting a movie without having to worry about disturbing your family members. For a cinephile, it’s like heaven.
The same can be said for gamers. Given that most games require team speak, voice chat, or verbal communication, pods act as privacy phone booths for gamers to freely chat with their friends without having to constantly look over their shoulder. (It’s also handy for emotional ventilation if you feel riled up from winning or losing matches.) Simply put: No disturbing others, and no external interference.
It’s also not too much to stake a claim that even past gaming and entertainment, the pod can be refitted for sporting and spiritual activities. After all, in a time when most exercise has moved indoors, there’s a nagging paranoia that someone may just walk in on you doing some embarrassing squats. And if you’re doing quiet-time meditation, consider the peace broken every 5 minutes or so. Conversely, with privacy phone booths, this means that the space is ours to own. There’s no outdoor sound, no fear of being seen by others; only pure focus. This means being able to pray, meditate, do pilates, and revel in sensory yoga to re-centre ourselves amidst the chaos of the pandemic.
So far, pods have been touted as modern phone booths and hobby-making spaces. In retrospect, pods are handy for businesses as well! Among the unprecedented alerts for social distancing restrictions and mask-wearers, pods can be refurbished as indoor ticketing booths and security guard stations with transparent panels between employees and customers. In other words, it’s a safe, practical, and cost-effective way of resuming businesses while guarding against COVID-19.
Since it isn’t built-in, this also allows for portability if needed, particularly in shifting booths around to better maximise the spatial changes in anticipation of new protocols and restrictions.