Artificial cooling and digital equipment are the main drivers behind the quickly growing energy use of modern office work. To lower the energy use of the typical glass office building, many agree that we need to revert to earlier forms of architecture that were common up to the 1950s: T-, H- and L-shaped buildings, light wells, natural ventilation, and radiant heating and cooling systems.
Would the same hold true for office equipment? Should we revert to pre-1950s machines like manual typewriters and calculators, carbon paper, vertical filing cabinets, and the telegraph? Such a radical solution would lower energy use dramatically, but could we obtain equally good results by rethinking and redesigning office equipment, combining the best of mechanical and digital devices?