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  • Jan. 7, 1999 Personal Space

  • Feb. 11, 1999 Personal Space

  •   Personal Space
    Paying Occasional Homage to Self-expression in the Workplace

    Do you have a cool workspace? We'd love to see it and perhaps feature it in an upcoming TechThursday issue. Send e-mail nominations to:

    Craig Cola /

    This is an IPIX photobubble. Click and drag within the image to look around. Zoom by moving the cursor to the center of the image and dragging up or down. Your browser must be java-capable to view image.

    No walls, no doors, no barriers-and no privacy. As a remedy for today's "open office" environments, the "Personal Harbour" by Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., promises phone-booth styled solitude for office hermits.

    "Closing the door provides visual and territorial privacy and also serves as a signaling device to other team members," concludes a recent Steelcase research paper on the unit, which made its debut in 1994.

    This year's model offers 42 square feet of sound-absorbed real estate that packs in filing cabinets, a white board and a desk with jacks for computer, phone and personal audio equipment. Also new is a "front porch," an optional desk that extends through the doorway for visitors.

    The booths are a central feature at the newly refurbished District headquarters of the American Society of Interior Designers (pictured at left, with interior below), as well as the U.S. Postal Service and the Lockheed Martin Manassas Telecommuting Center. At $10,000 each, they're three times costlier than typical workstations. One design quibble: They don't descend onto workers from the ceiling, like the Cone of Silence in "Get Smart."

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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