An idea that is now almost 40 years old, the office cubicle is a somewhat partitioned space for one or several workers in what is otherwise an unpartitioned and open building space for offices. In many companies, it has replaced the traditional individual office room or the large, unpartitioned space shared by many workers. The cubicle is intended to be a compromise that allows a certain amount of privacy, sound-proofing, and lack of distraction for the individual while at the same time encouraging a sense of collective space shared by all. The cubicle is also intended to be more cost-efficient.
The inventor of the office cubicle was Robert Propst, whose Action Office System for Herman Miller in 1968 revolutionized the office furniture industry and the workplace. Propst's system sectioned off a large open area into reconfigurable individual enclosed or semi-enclosed work spaces.