On #tbt, better known as “Throwback Thursday,” we’re paying homage to the office cubicle. Every now and then we wonder how people worked without modern technology. Like when faxes arrived at the machine in shiny paper that was easily bendable.
That’s why this story about the fiftieth anniversary of the cubicle is so significant! Per a CBS piece, the majority of us work in cubicle-clad offices and yet 93 percent hate it. Like it or loathe it, there’s certainly no doubt the cubicle is here to stay.
Let’s take a moment to stroll down memory lane, shall we? According to Inc., in the ol’ days, office space was called a bullpen or a classroom. Prior to the 1960s, it sounds like there were a ton of desks in an open area. Actually, we’re envisioning it was similar to a newsroom.
Add noise to it like typewriters clanking away and phone calls and consider it to be completely lacking in privacy.
This is where it gets interesting. In 1960, graphic artist and sculptor Robert Propst became president of the research sector of Herman Miller. By working for the furniture designer, he looked into creating an office environment to boost creativity and processes. Per the piece, he stated, “Today’s office is a wasteland. It saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.”
In 1964, the cubicle as we know it today was born. Known as “Action Office II,” it boasted a flexible workstation with storage and a display section for ongoing work. Add walls, of course, in the form of panels.