Derek Lowe on open office designs:
Here's a useful rule: whenever someone tries to tell you that you don't understand about this new generation, because they're so totally different, which makes them act so totally differently than anyone older - you're being sold something. Marketers absolutely love to pretend that this is how the world works, as do many varieties of consultant, because it gives them a chance to sell their hot, happening expertise that you don't have, you see, because you're behind the times. Kids these days! You just have no idea.
I've heard similar arguments: "Young" people like open spaces because they grew up with social networks and headphones. It's generally made by people that either don't work in an open office space or benefit from forcing other people to work in an open office space. It's funny how the private study areas around college campuses still fill up around the time of finals. Why not just study wherever? Like in the middle of a subway platform. It's totally just like chatting on Facebook, bro.