Finally, someone to blame for the open office scourge. The latest Planet Money podcast tells the story of how Chiat Day CEO Jonathan Chiat had a vision while skiing the slopes of Telluride, which led him to hire famed Italian architect Gaetano Pesce to build “an office without paper.” The resulting 29,000-square-foot office included a ping-pong table and poured resin floors the color of tangerine. Employees picked up a cell phone and computer in the morning and then roamed the space free of assigned desks.
Critics raved about it after the opening in 1994, and people who worked in regular offices lined up to take tours. The only problem? Everyone who worked there hated it because they couldn’t get any work done.
Too late! The idea caught on—and it was cheaper than building a cubicle farm.