• October 18, 2018, 3–5 p.m.

The Open Plan Office in the Windy City

Featuring: Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler

Newberry Library

60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610

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Drafting and engineering department at Burlington general offices in Chicago, 1948. From the CB&Q collection. Newberry Library. Call No. CB&Q A-5


In the late 1960s, the open plan office concept challenged conventional office planning by radically reimagining the office as a space that could reduce hierarchy, increase communication, and support organizational change. Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler, Assistant Professor of Design History at Purdue University, argues that the city of Chicago was a vital nexus of activity in the earliest promotion and experimentation of the open plan office concept.


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