The change we face
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The office was given pride of place by designers as a testbed for modernist ideas a place of rational production and administration, like the factory, whose aesthetic should almost entirely be determined by the considerations of management efficiency. Over the course of the twentieth century, the powerful visual image of rigid organisational control became the norm from which many employers now have trouble departing. Modernist designers turned functionalism of the kind that bends people to the will of the system into an entire visual design movement surprisingly resistant to change. Conspiracy theorists lead directly to one man Frederick Taylor, the proponent of scientific management, and the progenitor of work study and of a whole school of twentieth-century organisational analyses. The passive design emulators of the pioneer modernists increasingly failed to see it like that. In their essentially aesthetic approach, they made pseudo-scientific management process respectable simply because they made it so visible.