Dreaming of a better office

architecture and labor

Keywords: Office Design, Capitalism, Labor Process Theory, Architecture, Labor


Taking up the MeCCSA 2021 conference theme ‘Dreaming of another place’, this article investigates the dream of, and path toward, a better, more humane, and more dignified office. Driven by Harry Braverman’s assertions regarding the centrality of control over the labor process to the continued success of capitalism (Labor and Monopoly Capital, 1974), this article situates the office as a place and space defined by the necessities of global capital. Looking forward to a better place, this article suggests a regime of vertically integrated unionization of those involved in the creation and use of office spaces (designers, architects, builders and office occupants) as a way to insert the needs and wants of all workers in a process previously held by capital. By uniting the voices, creativity and interests of all working people involved in the creation of office spaces, perpetual issues such as lack of personal privacy, minimal daylight, limited natural air and cramped, noisy conditions can be addressed at their source, and the dream of a better office brought to fruition.

February 17, 2023
How to Cite
Seitz, P. (2023). Dreaming of a better office: architecture and labor. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 16(1). Retrieved from https://www.ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/679