Collapsing offices take shape

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IN THE MIDST of the recession the latest in office equipment seems ghoulishly appropriate.

With 1,000 British companies folding each week, Kudos 2000 of Harlow, Essex, has come up with a 'unique' range of portable offices which can be assembled in two minutes and collapsed in 30 seconds - just a tad more quickly than many fledging businesses.

Based on a 'novel' swivel cleat, now patented worldwide, the Kabin could prove attractive to businessmen who dream of dismantling their offices and mothballing everything in expectation of better times. It could also hold some allure for the less scrupulous fly-by-night operator.

The collapsing office is the brainchild of David Dyer, an engineer who began work on the concept seven years ago. It has already been talent-spotted by BBC Television's Tomorrow's World.

Nick Lawler, managing director of Kudos, envisages the international Kabin, which will pop up in all the world's trouble spots. He said instant buildings, erected from compact flat-packs without tools, bolts, nuts or adhesives, would prove a Godsend in Somalia, Florida and Bosnia, being cheaper to transport, build and store than prefabricated cabins.

'These Kabins go up quicker than tents. In wars, famine relief and emergency situations they are easily transported and quickly assembled. Within an hour they can be fully operational with lighting, heating and communications.'

Launched yesterday at the Public Sector Facilities Management Exhibition in London, the pounds 8,000 Kabin has stirred interest at Her Majesty's Prisons. Details of the inquiry are not available, but a collapsible cell seems unlikely.