Well, not anymore. Welcome to the age of the hide-me-chair!
With so many office employees losing their cloak of invisibility (e.g., cubicle walls), it was only a matter of time before some enterprising design company came up with a solution.
Now office dreamscape designer Steelcase is here with something it calls the Brody. The Brody? Really? Okay, let's ignore the name and talk about what it is, and all the cool stuff it could do for us at work.
Basically, the Brody is an office desk surrounded by a funky-looking, IKEA-ish partition that looks suspiciously like a...cubicle. Here, watch a super-tiny, off-center Mashable video about it. (I've given up trying to re-size and center it, but I'll keep trying!):
Oh, I see. The Brody is a "micro-environment" that "can be optimized for an individual to get into focus." In other words, it blocks out all the surround sound and goings on in our peripheral vision so we can finally get something done.
Hmm. I have an idea: Could we just have the old-fashioned cubicle back, management? Please? Perhaps somebody could re-design the traditional cubicle, only call it a "focused-productivity micropod" or an "introvert's ellipse" instead?
Speaking of shapes, why does the modern cubicle have to be square-shaped at all? We have dozens of geometrical shapes to choose from, from triangles and semicircles to the trapezoid and the rhombus. How awesome would it be to say to our work colleagues: "I'd better get back to my productivity parallelogram, guys!" Let's think outside the box a little bit, designers.
The Brody is cool and everything, but it's really just a modern take on the cubicle. And cubicles are awesome for employee productivity! Let's start a petition to bring partitions back.