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Scott Adams designs the post-Dilbert cubicle

Modular, ergonomic satire?

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What on earth has overcome Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert?

While his Dilbert cartoons continue to lampoon the sadism and futility of white collar office life, Adams has apparently lent his blessing to what he most despises: the cubicle.

Design company IDEO is showcasing a cubicle inspired by and developed with input from Adams, which you can peruse here.

It's very much like one of those sixties visions of the workspace of the future, where androgynous types in white turtle necked vinyl tunics absent mindly cradle one of their executives desk toys (usually a miniature horizontal lava lamp). There was little work to do in that imagined future - with workers having long since been replaced by Puters - but plenty of time to play with executive toys, and wait for the next video conference with relatives colonising Mars.

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. Or the wallflower Murphy seat which triggers an 'urgent' phone call thirty seconds after someone's sat in it.

Some things - like Cubicles, Stairmasters or anything to do with marketing - are so alien and demeaning to the human condition that making them bearable is as futile as scenting faeces. He's being satirical, dammit. We hope...

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