Tomorrow, everyone in my office is moving to a new location; many, to new floors. I have been in a cubicle for almost a decade now. Short walls, faux privacy, and poorly designed ergonomics have been my constant companion these many years. As I prepare to move down to the 11th floor, I can't help but wonder - how did we get here? No one can really think this is a good way to work, can they?
So I did a little research - by little, I mean a search on Google. And by research, I mean I clicked on Wikipedia and another link entitled "History of the Cubicle". It seems I can blame my carpal tunnel and bad eyes on a man named Robert Propst who worked for Herman Miller. He developed a prototype cube in 1965. That's over 40 years of bad offices!
Behold, the original "Action Office":
While that office doesn't really look functional, at least you can stand up and there aren't dividers cribbed from veal fattening pens. The Action Office was where we were going to design nuclear powered spacecraft to take us to the Moon and beyond! It was where American scientists and engineers were going defeat the Communists! I want a cubicle that goes with a skinny tie and a short sleeved dress shirt, dammit!
There's just no soul in this. No one is going to invent a better car, defeat the Terrorists, or earn a Nobel Peace Prize looking at cloth covered walls in three directions. Ah well, at least my view goes from office wall to parking garage across the street.