Office Design Trends In The 20th Century

778 Words4 Pages
Client: K-Mark Description: A look at office design trends and how they've evolved over the past century. Office Trends: From the 1920s to Today Over the years, there has been a drastic change in the way office space is designed. From large offices crammed full of desks, to the more recent open-plan, collaborative spaces – office interiors have evolved to reflect attitudes to work and changes in the economy. The 1920s American engineer Frederick Taylor is credited as being one of the first people to design a modern office. His primary focus was efficiency, and his office spaces were designed to maximise productivity. In the 1920s, many American and modern European companies, including insurance agents, mail-order firms and government…show more content…
In the 1950s, the Quickborner Team in Hamburg developed the concept of “Bürolandschaft”, which literally translates as “office landscape”. This new design concept was a break from the rigidity of Taylorism, and focused more on organising office spaces to meet the needs of employees. A key feature of the “Bürolandschaft” concept was the creation of different work areas, using plants and partitions to create divisions. The 1960s In the sixties, office design became more political, and designers looked to create a more socially-democratic office layout, which encouraged interaction between employees. However, during this time, some designers rejected modernist office design in favour of more traditional layouts. As a result, the 1960s saw the rise of the cubicle, which provided workers with their own makeshift…show more content…
During this time, work-councils became increasingly influential in office design, and some countries implemented regulations that prescribed a minimum amount of space per employee, as well as insisted on access to daylight, open windows and views. The response to this was a pattern of narrow building, with offices arranged along a corridor. The 1980s Although many corporation had adopted open-plan work spaces over the past few decades, many looked to gain back a degree of privacy in the eighties. As a result, the cubicle was implemented across many businesses, as this was a cheap and flexible way to create division and privacy, while still keeping the offices somewhat open. The 1990s the technological advancements of the nineties had a massive impact on office design. The introduction of the internet, laptops and cellphones allowed employees to work away from their desks. Due to the recession of the early 1990s, many businesses realised that teleworking and outsourcing could greatly reduce costs. In the late 1990s, many internet companies embraced smaller, more colourful and more casual offices, where the boundaries between both employees and spaces, as well as between work and play, were blurred. The
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