Scott Adams helps to design the ultimate cubicle.
August 30, 2001 1:46 AM   Subscribe

Scott Adams helps to design the ultimate cubicle. Oh, the irony. According to The Register,
"So has Adams sold out, or what?
On closer inspection, this whimsical parlay could well be a physical extension of the Dilbert strip. How else to account for the 'sun indicators', or as the blurb says:-'Regardless of the weather outside, sunlight travels across your space, glowing and fading with the rhythm of the day.' Yes, to remind you of the futility of your miserable, rabbit hutch existence, of course."

posted by jetgrrl (9 comments total)
I don't know that I'd call that ironic. Amusing, definitely, but ironic only in some kind of Alanis Morissette fashion. A man who's been portraying the dehumanization of (among other things) cubicle life (and funny bits with a dog) designs a cubicle that attempts to make working in them pleasant? Sounds just about right to me.

I wouldn't mind having one of those myself -- looks neat. Of course, first I'd need a job.
posted by fidelity at 3:08 AM on August 30, 2001

floor storage? hammock? heck, i want one of these in my apt. and with the modules, it feels like lego cube...
posted by meep at 3:29 AM on August 30, 2001

Yeah, I'm torn on this as well- on the one hand, Adams has made a fortune ripping not just on the cubicle but the whole of corporatized culture that brought us the cubicle. On the other hand, it's always good to see attempts to move from the bland grey or beige we usually see from the corporate world, and if it takes Scott Adams of all people to "iMac" the cubicle, so be it.

That said, the CNN tour (click here for the non-popup version), unlike those idealistic, futuristic sketches on the site, makes the cubes look less like a Steve Jobs wetdream and more like bad 70's interior design, all orange and earth tones and misplaced floral prints... actually, let me be more blunt: it's pretty damn ugly, and some of the features are downright stupid outside of a comic strip, such as the "boss monitor", or the visitor seat that prompts the phone to ring after being folded out for a certain period of time.

However, some of the ideas are clever, such as various Ikea-esque storage areas and closeting (how many times has my jacket just ended up laying on my desk or over the corner of the cubicle wall), and turning the walls into modular plug-ins for more space, or personalized touches including an aquarium, is somewhat hippie-dippie but also not that preposterous. Like I said, this particular vision of a cubicle seems pretty ill-conceived, but as a kick in the pants to envision something other than that grey wall-carpeting cubicle look, I'm all for it.
posted by hincandenza at 3:34 AM on August 30, 2001

Bad 70's or not, it still kicks the s#$@ out of my cube!
posted by bob bisquick at 5:59 AM on August 30, 2001

Adams has sold out? I'm shocked! Why, the man has always shied away from commercialization of Dilbert-related products. He has kept to his principles so that Dilbert coffee cups, mousepads, calendars, t-shirts, pocket protectors, solar calculators, baseball caps, pencil sharpeners, greeting cards, computer cases, underwear, keychains, watch fobs, cigar humidors, bumper stickers, aquarium accessories, condoms, baby wipes, prescription drugs, and back scratchers will all never be sullied by commercial licensing. His integrity, in other words, is unqualified.

Really: Adams has always said he's in it for the money, and he's only against PHBs, not corporate life in general. After all, corporate life is his cash cow. He only quit his own cubicle job a few years ago.
posted by dhartung at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2001 [1 favorite]

Ummm, do you think some of you might have missed the joke? The cubicles are designed as a joke publicity gimmick, nothing more. See all the great stuff it has here.

Some of you need to read more Dilbert. Adams is frequently including cubicle modifications in the comic strip. Some designed to make the conditions better for workers, some designed to make the conditions better for the PHB (i.e. save $). This IDEO cubicle is just a manifestation of that humor.

It's similiar to when Adams did a gig as a (disguised) consultant running a meeting to define a new mission statement for a Bay Area company. The executives at the meeting kept taking his nonsense suggestions as great ideas.

It's just an attempt to be funny.

Stop taking it so seriously.
posted by Option1 at 9:32 AM on August 30, 2001

feel lucky you have a cube. i toil laborouly in a damned "corral", and everything i say is overheard (and sometimes rudely interrupted), all the time i spend at mefi is looked upon, every time i crunch on a baby carrot or play luscious jackson too loud it is complained about, and i have to look at my ugly coworkers all day. and there are no windows. i look at light peach walls all day on a screen unsuitable for human viewing. well, at least i have a job.
posted by adampsyche at 9:39 AM on August 30, 2001

Oops. I didn't mean to imply that I thought The Register story was 100% serious. I just thought the animation of the cube's features was giggle-inducing, therefore worth a look...
posted by jetgrrl at 6:48 PM on August 30, 2001

Without comment, I'll point people to the Norman Solomon / Tom Tomorrow book, The Trouble With Dilbert.
posted by rex at 4:58 PM on September 2, 2001

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