Open Plan: A Design History of the American Office
Imagine an office without walls or hierarchies, a space that allows for the free and open exchange of ideas and a way to work… better. How would one implement this? More importantly, what happens when design ideals collide with workplace reality? Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler’s new book, Open Plan: A Design History of the American Office answers these questions. Kauffman-Buhler traces the evolution of the brightly colored officescapes of the 1960s and 1970s to the cubicles of the 1980s and 1990s and analyzes these changing office spaces as design concepts promoted by architects, designers, and furniture makers, and as work space used by organizations and their employees.
Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler is an Assistant Professor at the Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Her research focuses on the interactions and intersections of people, space, and things in everyday life.
The audio only version of this program is available on our podcast.