Monday, September 7, 2009


A relaxed environment that is welcoming to interaction. That's what a cubicle was designed to be. First marketed in the 1970's, the modular form of architecture made transformation of office spaces easy- no costly wall modifications, and allowed for better use of open plan spaces. Well, the concept of making a 'better' environment for employees dissipated as space managers sought to economize on space. 9x9 is a good size these days... And in the strip Dilbert, they are ridiculed and compared to prison cells, especially when combined with bright white overhead fluorescent lighting.
Then there is the counterrevolution. Open work space with no assigned workspaces. What a radical idea. Curvature!

How can we keep the conformist look but increase morale and further economize? IKEA furniture- a decent table can be obtained for $50, and a chair $10. But the chair is what counts. I have this nice $60 manager's chair. It's fluffy, it twirls and rolls. So let's add one of those. People who need privacy can hang hangings from the ceiling panels, if they still exist in the 'contemporary' workplace. That's about 15% the cost of a standard $2000 cubicle. Or some people are revolted by the sedentary lifestyle of deskwork. Let's take away the chair.
Or let people byof- bring your own furniture from home, as long as it fits in the 'virtual boundaries' of your workspace. A door? Maybe.

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