1964: Action Office

Action Office was the world's first open-plan office system and resulted from more than three years of research by the Herman Miller Research Corporation under the direction of Robert Propst. Extensive studies on human behavior in the office, environmental influences on productivity, health, and enthusiasm at work, led Propst to propose a furniture system that challenged traditional, hierarchically office organization with an open, less rigidly structured one. Desks of differing heights were to encourage alternation between sitting and standing to promote concentration and creativity and thus increase efficiency. Desks with a closable rolltop would allow unfinished work to simply remain on the desk in the evening, to be resumed the next morning without delay. Shielded and soundproof telephone tables facilitated phoning within the open office.
     -- Summary and image from George Nelson Foundation

* Action Office summary (Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany): @
* "The Cubicle Turns 50 (from Men's Journal): @
* "The Origin of Cubicles and the Open-Plan Office" (Scientific American, 2009): @
* "How the office became what it is today" (Stylepark, 2012): @
* "Cutting Up the Cube" (Henry Ford Museum): @
* "Where Your Cubicle Came From" (Tim Sullivan, Harvard Business Review, 2013): @
* "The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office" (Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan, 2013): @
* "An Idea Whose Time Has Come" (Metropolitan magazine, 2013): @
* "The Office Documented" (from Herman Miller Inc.): @ 
* Short biography of Robert Propst (from Herman Miller Inc.): @ 
* "George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design" (Stanley Abercrombie, 2000): @
* "The Cubicle You Call Hell Was Designed To Set You Free" (Nikil Saval for Wired, 2014): @
* "Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace" (Nikil Saval, 2014): @

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