In Swedish, the concept is called öppet landskap (direct translation: open/wide scenery/landscape). While I can explain the concept to our applicants over the, I fear that it's rather due to their pre-existing familiarity with the concept than due to the actual excellency of the explanation. (And, frankly, even if the latter is excellent, I still wish to learn the official term for further reference).

The difference between the Swedish setup and e.g. American (as far I've experienced), is that here, it actually (almost) feels cozy and separated from the other open areas, making it actually not so very open and, hence, less industrious.

The sense of seclusion is achieved not by walls, doors and such (we're not talking about a dormitory or multi-tenant chambers) but rather using lighting, location/direction of desks, coloring etc. In my experience, it differs from other countries in a clear but intangible way.

  • I think you mean to say less industrial not "less industrious".
    – TimR
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 13:40
  • 2
    Can you link to a photo or three of "öppet landskap"? A google search only shows pictures of cows and mountains, or what looks like very conventional open-plan offices that look no different to those in other countries.
    – James K
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 14:33
  • @KonradViltersten I don't know that there's a direct translation for the concept - but you might troll the "work for us" pages at various Silicon Valley firms to see if they do something similar to what you have. In the meanwhile, you might consider "semi-open floor plan" or "semi-open office plan".
    – John Feltz
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 15:17
  • What is the difference between öppet landskap and kontorlandskap, the Swedish Wikipedia article linked from the English open plan? The office in the kontorlandskab photo from the Danish Wikipedia would definitely be called an open plan office in the U.S., but there are many different ways to arrange and furnish open plan offices.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Michael Rybkin's suggestion of the "open office" is about as close as you're going to get, as it embraces a wide range of designs, from shared work spaces (where no one has an assigned station):

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to no cubicles:

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to low cubicles:

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to partial offices

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plus many more designs.

There is no single word that encompasses all the options, as "open office" is more a design concept than a specific implementation, and many designers might disagree what it actually means. However, most will agree it's not "cubicle hell"

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