Action Office 2 Roll Top Desk

Action Office 2 Roll Top Desk

George Nelson, American, 1908-1986
Born: Hartford, Connecticut
Work Locations: New York
Robert Propst, American, 1921-2000
Born: Colorado
Work Locations: Denver, CO, Ann Arbor, MI
George Nelson Associates
Work Locations: New York, NY
Active Dates: 1955-1985
Herman Miller, Inc., 1923-
Work Locations: Michigan
United States
Steel, wood, and plastic
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of Elizabeth Torke Jones in memory of David R. Torke

George Nelson and Robert Propst, Action Office 2 Roll Top Desk, 1967. Steel, wood, and plastic; 41 × 54 × 29 1/2 in. Manufactured by Herman Miller, Zeeland, Michigan. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Elizabeth Torke Jones in memory of David R. Torke, 2012.319.

height: 41 in, 104.1400 cm; width: 54 in, 137.1600 cm; depth: 29 1/2 in, 74.9300 cm
Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design
This object is currently on view

Introduced in 1964, Action Office was the world’s first open-plan office system. It resulted from years of research by the Herman Miller Research Corporation under the direction of designer Robert Propst. Studies on human behavior in the office led Propst to propose a furniture system that replaced the traditional office organization with an open, flexible one. Desks of differing heights encouraged workers to alternate sitting and standing for enhanced concentration and creativity.

Known Provenance
Purchased 1967 from (unknown Danish design store in Larimer Square), Denver, Colorado in 1967 by David R. Torke, Colorado; bequeathed by David R. Torke to Liz Torke Jones; donated 2012 by Liz Torke Jones, Longmont, Colorado to the Denver Art Museum.
Exhibition History
  • “By Design: Stories and Ideas Behind Objects” — Denver Art Museum, 10/24/2021 – 12/31/2022