Open plan offices have long been a fact of life in the workplace. Generally speaking, the term “open plan” refers to an open space within a closed space, but is most often used to describe office spaces.
The definition is somewhat paradoxical – an enclosed open space which is then divided up with partitions.
City living inevitably means closely and somewhat intensively interacting with others but at the same time having our own space within that shared space.
It’s natural to want to drink coffee, eat, live and work in the company of others. But there are also times when we do not want to share with others, and jobs that will get done more effectively if we can get away from everyone for a while. Between these two extremes urban living comes in a range of subtle nuances.
The various open plan solutions all represent efforts to respond to these conflicting needs – both to be around people and have some space to ourselves. These solutions entail increasing use of glass and soundproof partitions and special booths for phone calls and meetings. Of course, the plug sockets will be ready and waiting for us there – not in the walls, because they are probably too far away, much closer than that.