The Office – A Facility based on change – Insight from 1968

I am currently preparing a presentation for the upcoming event that Herman Miller is holding in aid of Children in Need, in conjunction with Workplace Week.

This has meant reading this book again, written in 1968 by Robert Propst .


All those that attend the seminar will be given a copy of the book, and in addition Herman Miller will donate £20 to Children in Need up to a maximum of £500.

To give you a flavour of how insightful this book was, I thought that I would share just a few of the quotes we will be discussing in the event:

“Fifty years has brought little change to the functional format of offices. Office work has undergone a revolution; the physical environment lags behind”

“Because we can now generate, project and multiply information with ease, we are facing a crisis in quality. We have more but is it worth investing our involvement?”

“As status orientation is converted to goal orientation, the use of space and hierarchical furnishings will undergo major readjustment.”

“Proportioning some of our work to stand-up work stations would do more than anything else to overcome sedentary decline. The office can be a kinetic, active, alert, vigorous environment.”

“Every office has a climate of social expression that can either be destructive or constructive and, to a large degree, this is effected by the physical expression we give it. One of the great assets of a more frankly interactive and open office expression is the improved social structure that it offers”

“Pause or byway areas for brief conference interchange can be a highly functional part of traffic design. This is particularly useful if it also is  utilized as a general display center focusing on matters that help keep goals and objectives on a current awareness basis.”



About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
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3 Responses to The Office – A Facility based on change – Insight from 1968

  1. Lisa Belter says:

    I am in Calgary, and can not attend. Can I still read the book somewhere?

  2. Lisa. As a Herman Miller dealer you can order one from the HM marketing team

  3. Propst’s insight has just as much influence in today’s organizational space planning as it did those many years ago! …still a foundation to planning.

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