(pronounced SIS-tehmz FUR-nih-chur)
Those in the biz might also call systems furniture “open office systems” or “panel systems.” Civilians (a.k.a. those not in the biz) might refer to them as “workstations,” “cubicles,” or just plain “cubes.”
Mocked and loathed by cartoons and the entertainment industry, the typical cube has become a ubiquitous element of American business. Though it’s become the most pervasive interior workplace element, it’s still one the most complicated to tailor to the client and specify.
Not all systems furniture falls into the category of a cube, however. Pardon the pun, but some manufacturers actually think outside of the box, incorporating fluid lines, organic shapes, curved panels, and translucent materials. Therefore, the definition of systems furniture is mainly that of modularity and function: a variety of parts and pieces (a bit like Tinker Toys) that can be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled another way (or elsewhere) for maximum flexibility, efficiency, and productivity. One would hope, anyway.