Action Office


Action Office

The Action Office, a precursor to the cubicle desk was invented by Robert Propst who worked for Herman Miller (Research) in Zeeland, Michigan.

A prototype action office was made in 1965 and the product released in 1968. An action office product is still sold by Herman Miller - http://www.hermanmiller.com/actionoffice/. Herman Miller describe it as "the world's first open plan office system", and claim a "$5 billion installed base".

One aim of the Action office was to increase productivity, it also had features designed to improve health such as desks at varying heights to enable working standing up (to increase blood flow).

Unlike the cubicle the action office was not particularly efficient at using space. The cubicle is a shrunken version of the action office.

The Action Office was designed with the intention of providing space to work, privacy, and an increase in productivity. It was certainly not designed to increase employee density in small areas of office space. It quickly became a successful product due to the rise in white-collar jobs, rise in office remodelling costs, and government changes in office furniture depreciation specifications. It continued to be developed by Propst and Herman Miller Inc. through the following decades, earning the title of Most Significant Design since 1960 from the Worldesign Congress in 1985. Later modifications to the Action Office included making more storage room available and allowing for collaborative workspace. One design, dubbed Resolve, using technology and 120 degree corners, was permanently added to the Museum of Modern Art(MoMA) in New York City, two years after its creation in 1999. In 2000 Robert Propst died, but is known to have regretted to some extent what his idea had evolved into and become, calling it a contribution to "monolithic insanity." Herman Miller (Research) is still a major and acclaimed designer and producer of furniture.

=Related links=
* [http://www.anbhf.org/laureates/djdepree.html D. J. DePree of the Herman Miller Company]


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