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A Documentary About Cubicles? Really?

We have proof that there is a now a documentary about absolutely everything: Filmmaker Zaheed Mawani has made a film about cubicles. The project is called “Three Walls” and it is described as “a lighthearted but poignant look at an unhealthy office culture and its architectural symbol.”

The cubicle, of course, was intended to do just the opposite. What we now call the cubicle started at Herman Miller in the 1960s as a concept called Action Office. Its creator, Robert Propst, planned it to “give knowledge workers a more flexible, fluid environment than the rat-maze box of offices.” And for those of us who find the lack of privacy of open offices nervewracking, and the often windowless interior offices many companies provide as an alternative depressing, they have.
For others, like this lady, above, they’re reminiscent of something Lego would make. (We’re guessing she never replaced the top attachments of her neighbor’s cubicle walls with bouquets for Valentine’s Day, or the plastic windows with dozens and dozens of pictures of Barbra Streisand for April’s Fools. Cubicles! They’re fun!)

Then there are these guys, who are making cubicles for Herman Miller. The shots of them in the factory reminded us of nothing so much as Mr. Rogers at the crayon factory. It’s a weird reminder that everything in the world is made somewhere. Totally bizarre to think that our cubicles were born in a similar factory, somewhere in the world.
Most of all, as we said earlier, we were struck by the fact that there really is a documentary about everything now — or will be, soon. Here are a few documentaries that we’d like to see (if any filmmakers out there are reading this and need ideas, take note):

1. Smartphones: How do they get the smart in the phone? Yes, yes, we understand about the internet and all. But we are still continually impressed by the fact that our phones now know how to get to the nearest bank and what we will find when we get there, as well as whether or not the bank is up to some shady business that should make us think of taking our money somewhere else. (Note: They probably are. Additional note: Since they all are, should be bother with the paper work?)

2. Wrinkle creams: Are there really ones out there that work, and if so, how do they work? Also, that stuff that J.Lo sleeps in, in her bariatric chamber or whatever: Is it really worth $250 an ounce or however much it costs? It’s basically Pond’s Cold Cream, isn’t it? You can tell us.

3. Who decides what’s good for us at any given time? First the sun was good for us, because it gave us a healthy tan. Then it was bad for us, because of skin cancer. Now, you need a little of it, or you’ll get rickets. Same thing with stretching before exercise: No one can make up their mind. It’s all very confusing. We imagine a league of doctors, with a small off-shoot composed of personal trainers who don’t like people very much. But maybe you can find out more.

There you are, filmmakers. Don’t say we never gave you anything.

Video and images from Architizer Blog.

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