Today, you are a member of… The Great Space Yawn

There on the left is how the cubicle started out, members, as the brain child of designer and inventor Robert Propst while in the employ of Herman Miller, Inc. As part of Herman Miller’s “Action Office,” the 1965 Propst prototype was an open-air, situated space where you could get some work done. Since then, however, the entropy of modular design uninformed by a modern aesthetic has led the dear cubicle astray. Manufacturers seem to have dispensed with the philosophy of modernism under which Propst originally devised the cubicle–that space can be reshaped with the help of technology to benefit those dwelling there–as seen by the blindingly ugly construct pictured on the right. And just like any instance of entropy, energy is being dispersed and disordered. So if you are feeling drained in such an environment, repeat after Le Corbusier: “Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.” Or if you prefer, quote Howard Beale: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Either way, don’t let the great space yawn swallow you up.

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