10 Well-Designed Cures for the Common Cubicle


In 2010, Sam Grawe, then editor-in-chief of Dwell Magazine, introduced their seminal issue on the rise of the live/ work space by boldly declaring “The office is dead. Long Live Work,” a nod to the similarly prescient proclamation made by Wired’s Chris Anderson the month prior: “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet.”

As we know all to well, the age of the Internet and the demise of the traditional office go hand in hand. Thanks to the infinite and accessible resources the online world affords, a PJ-clad entrepreneurial army has emerged leaving a trail of desolate office parks and vacant low rent strip mall enterprises in its wake. After all, as Grawe astutely comments, “with a bedside iPad, who needs a cubicle?”

In celebration of domestic officedom’s occupational takeover, we’ve compiled the best alternatives to the worst design Herman Miller introduced to the world: the cube farm. A far cry from their other contributions (our beloved Eames Lounge Chair, Noguchi table and Marshmallow sofa), the standard cubicle may be an efficient, private solution, but it’s nothing short of boring. From a folding all-in-one office for small spaces to a solar powered portable outdoor office to a pop-up cardboard insta-office, here’s our roundup of cubicle alternatives that are anything but ordinary.

Secret ‘AIR by ObjetB Art

Image credit: ObjetB Art

Cardboard pop-up office by Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner

Image credit: habitables

Kruikantoor portable office by Tim Vinke

Image credit: designboom

Office in a box by Toshihiko Suzuki for Kenchikukagu

Image credit: Apartment Therapy

The iTrunk Pocket Office by Pinel & Pinel

Image credit: Pinel & Pinel

Office in a Bucket inflatable office pod or meeting room by inflate

Image credit: inflate

Spiral Stack work station by the Rhode Island School of Design Department of Interior Architecture

Image credit: Prototyping the Domestic Environment via DesignMilk

Solar powered outdoor workspace by Mathias Schnyder

Image credit: inhabitat

Hus 1 garden office by Torsten Ottesjö

Image credit: Torsten Ottesjö

Bibliochaise by .nobodyandco

Image credit: .nobodyandco