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The origins of our open office hellscape

We all know open offices are awful. How did we get here?

Open offices are bad
Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

Open offices promote synergistic idea sharing in a modern, interactive space. Just kidding: They’re terrible.

How exactly did we get the modern open office? The history of this strange social experiment is a timeless tale of good intentions ruined by pragmatic compromises. It involves Frank Lloyd Wright, legendary office design, and, yes, some awkwardness with cubicles. Watch the video above to find out how it all happened.

You can find this video and all of Vox's videos on YouTube. Subscribe for more episodes of Overrated, our series exploring the real reasons icons are so famous. Or you can follow along on the Overrated Facebook page.

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