1969 Office Systems: Louisiana TOPG Flashback Post

This week’s blog post takes a walk down memory lane to the time when The Office Planning Group was founded. We’ll take a quick look at what this era had to offer by way of office furniture and office systems. Louisiana businesses that have been around for more than 40 years may still have some of these items hanging around in their offices. That’s not surprising since many of the pieces from back then were really made to last. The year 1969 was quite an exciting time to be in the office design industry. Here’s what was going on at the time.

Cubicles Are Born

Action OfficeHerman Miller had just recently launched the initial version of the Action Office – the brain child of Bob Propst. At the time, this concept of dividing up an open office or “bullpen” with partitions to afford lower rank workers with greater privacy was quite novel. This was the very first in the family of furnishings now known as office systems. The modular, panel-based structure of these workstations is so adaptable that early models like the AO1 and Steelcase’s Series 9000 from the same time period are still manufactured today. Of course, they’ve got many more components and a few updates. But with their spacious accommodation and sleek design, they are true classics.

It’s a Mad World

pollockIf you’ve seen the office décor on the hit TV series Mad Men, you’re looking at the type of office furniture you might see in a high-end office suite in the 1960s and early 1970s. These carefully curated TV filming sets feature a mix of furnishings from the 50s and 60s with lots of iconic pieces. The desk designs were boxy and heavy on the wood and metal as you can see here. In terms of materials, things have come full circle in the last 50 years with a renewed emphasis on wood. However, today’s desks are a lot curvier than the designs from back in the day. Chairs tell the story of innovative design, luxurious materials and fine craftsmanship. Check out the Eames Time Life Executive Chair with its old four caster base (redesigned with five star base later). Another common seating option for head honchos was the Pollock executive chair with its eye-catching chrome rim. Back then, these designs were very modern. Today, they are retro yet still charming and functional nonetheless.

If you have a hankering for vintage office furniture styles, let us know. We’ll see what we can find for you. Share your memories about what office furniture and office systems Louisiana and the rest of the U.S. have enjoyed over the past 50 years in the comments!

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