Hate Your Cubicle? What About A "Me Place" Instead?

PearsonLloyd creates a furniture line intended for intense focus rather than gregarious, open-plan sharing.

There is a whole lot of fancy rhetoric in the press release for Docklands, a new office concept by the British design studio PearsonLloyd. It is "a programme of small independent units designed to provide a range of individual ‘Me Places.’" A place where "workers can remove themselves from the background noise and distraction associated with the general office when they require a space for total concentration." A "simple and subtle solution." Please. These are cubicles, plain and simple. But they’re cubicles that, fingers crossed, won’t make you want to gouge your eyeballs out.

PearsonLloyd has given the wretched old cubicle the high-design treatment. Gone are the severe edges and the plastic or MDF or whatever god-awful material they use to make cubicles nowadays. Instead, you have curved workstations semi-enclosed in sturdy upholstery that dampens sound and softens the aesthetic of the workplace. Each workstation comes with a lamp, a hanger, and a wall shelf, and the fabric shell can be customized to wrap almost all the way around the desk, for maximum privacy, or just half way.

This isn’t earth-shattering design. But when you’re glued to a desk for eight, 10 hours a day, the details matter, and it’s the details PearsonLloyd have done right. Throw a bunch of these in the office, and working in a "sea of cubicles" might not sound like such a bad thing.

Docklands was designed for the Austrian office furniture company Bene and will debut at Orgatec, a contract furniture fair in Cologne, in October.

[Images courtesy of PearsonLloyd; h/t Dezeen]

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  • krzystoff_oz

    these are around 1/3 to 1/4 the size of contemporary workstations, and about 50% smaller than most call centre deskspaces.  however, they have the advantage of acoustic privacy, which would make up for less space in a call centre.  

    the quad-desk versions are smaller again than the single or dual version.  the only useful place for them I can imagine would be in a public library, or for home office or kids study space.

  • Asabi

    Personally, I prefer having my own office, but the longer cubby design above would be a nicer alternative to the call center style layout I now have to endure. It's just not suitable for large scale design engineering work, in my opinion.

  • pholla

    I would definitely want to gouge my eyes out in a space that small.  It doesn't even look like you can back away from your desk without hitting the back wall, and where exactly is any of your "stuff" supposed to be stored???

  • guest

    Oh yes. Let's continue to cut the person space each worker is assigned to be creative in.

  • Kaidy

    I agree, a cubicle is a cubicle. However, I have to admit, this is one chic cubicle!

    I'll take this over my work station any day! I especially like that the semi-enclosed design will aid in muffling the sound of co-workers making their calls... (one can only hope)