By Jürgen Dürrbaum / Published by Dwell
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The conventional version of theopen-plan office is now regarded as a failure.

It was introduced prematurely, before technological networks played such a major role. Lighting, acoustics, and climate management were not satisfactorily resolved. Consequently, the goal of almost every employee was to move up—-and out of the bullpen—-as fast as possible. The private office became an object of prestige.

With today’s technology, it is possible for people to work from home. We now come to the office for teamwork. Open spatial structures and fewer walls promote this new arrangement.

When we do need to withdraw, we don’t need a private office, just acoustic and visual isolation. Having this option supports productivity, motivation, and creativity, and makes the office more humane. It is essential to provide a workspace where employees can develop their full potential.

Vitra's world headquarters, designed by the Bouroullec brothers, are made to adapt, with expandable suspended screens and a raised open desk system.


Jürgen Dürrbaum


Director of Division Systems, Vitra

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