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Open Plan

Open Plan

A Design History of the American Office

by Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler
Paperback
Publication Date: 11/03/2021
RRP  $39.99 $39.90

Originally inspired by a progressive vision of a working environment without walls or hierarchies, the open plan office has since come to be associated with some of the most dehumanizing and alienating aspects of the modern office.

Author Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler traces the history and evolution of the American open plan from the brightly-colored office landscapes of the 1960s and 1970s to the monochromatic cubicles of the 1980s and 1990s, analyzing it both as a design concept promoted by architects, designers, and furniture manufacturers, and as a real work space inhabited by organizations and used by workers.

The thematically structured chapters each focus on an attribute of the open plan to highlight the ideals embedded in the original design concept and the numerous technical, material, spatial, and social problems that emerged as it became a mainstream office design widely used in public and private organizations across the United States.

Kaufmann-Buhler's fascinating new book weaves together a variety of voices, perspectives, and examples to capture the tensions embedded in the open plan concept and to unravel the assumptions, expectations, and inequities at its core.

ISBN:
9781350044739
9781350044739
Category:
History of art / art & design styles
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
11-03-2021
Language:
English
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
216
Dimensions (mm):
234x156x8.64mm
Weight:
0.41kg
Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler

Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler is Assistant Professor of Design History at Purdue University, USA, where her research focuses on the interactions and intersections of people, space, and things in everyday life. She has published articles in The Journal of Design History and Design and Culture, and she co-edited the essay collection Design History Beyond the Canon (Bloomsbury, 2019).

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