I'm fairly convinced that one of the biggest game-changers in the office design over the last 15 years has been the movie Office Space. It perfectly sums up everything that can be awful in a 9-5, cubicle farm style company and office.

Terrible boss. Check.
Boring Routine. Check.
Cubicle layout. Check.
Harsh fluorescent lighting. Check.
Drop ceilings. Check.

Just look at the photo of the Bobs to the right. I don't know what is more terrifying – the fact that they are deciding who to fire, or the doldrums of an office environment those who aren't fired have to continue to work inside.


Well today we're going to quickly take a peek at what your office might look like if you get rid of one of that office space negativity creator: The Drop Ceiling.

Though drop ceilings do have real-world acoustic dampening benefits and lower the costs of heating and cooling, not having them is becoming an increasingly popular design choice.


I believe the decision to remove drop ceilings has a lot to do with companies seeing the physical workplace as a key differentiator between them and their competitors in wooing potential candidates. Drop ceilings—especially low drop ceilings—give the impression of a soul-sucking work environment. 

In case you were wondering what an office might look like once the drop ceilings have been removed, I've compiled a variety of images showing some different looks and styles.

How could your space be transformed by removing your ceilings?

Friends of the Earth's offices take advantage of the high ceilings, allowing the duct work to show. And finishing them in a clean white paint makes them look so much cleaner.

Stephenson Harwood's office cafe takes a similar approach, but hides the ceiling detail hidden with black paint. This maintains the height afforded by not using drop ceiling panels.

Lowe Campbell Ewald's Detroit offices were created out of a converted warehouse building and has been stripped bare of most everything except the essentials. This open office area displays a high ceiling that might otherwise be significantly lower if a drop ceiling were used. 

AEI Media uses some wood paneling along the wall to match the raw look their ceiling offers this open office workspace. The ducting is fairly limited, giving the ceiling a minimal vibe.

Viggle's offices keep their ceiling bright white and clean with modern light fixtures rather than the typical fluorescent lighting.

With no ceiling in the way, Barbarian Group's undulating desk is given quite a bit more room to do its thing. Again, this space uses neutral colors to keep the look of the ceiling clean.

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