Article published in:Multimodality, Politics and Ideology
Edited by David Machin and Theo van Leeuwen
[Journal of Language and Politics 15:3] 2016
► pp. 274–287
The politics of office design
Translating neoliberalism into furnishing
Recent changes in open plan office design are intended to facilitate flexible and collaborative work practices. Though promoted in terms of aesthetics and functionality, these changes in layout and furnishing communicate a great deal about how work and the workers that perform them are understood. Drawing upon the semiotics of framing and the chronotope, the open plan office is analyzed as a multimodal realization of neoliberal discourses on the flexibilization and deregulation of work. As such, the collaborative open plan office does more than represent or give expression to neoliberal ideologies, it normalizes and makes durable the work processes, identities and temporalities of neoliberalized labour.
Keywords: neoliberalism, post-Fordism, open plan, chronotope, multimodality, framing
Published online: 04 August 2016
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