The Basic Office, or “Bullpen,” was Nelson’s attempt to resolve the conflicting requirements of an open-plan office: openness to simplify communication and privacy to focus on work. Documents in the Nelson estate indicate that a lot of time was invested in the development of this system. Detailed color designs show wall units of varying height used to create different degrees of openness or privacy. A similarity with the furniture of the Action Office, which had been developed shortly before, is evident.
Basic Office was designed for Herman Miller but never produced.