It's still open season on the open office, but it's not going away. However Leo Lutero of PSFK points to an option that might make it a little quieter: The Tomako, a sort of big felt "sheltering, acoustic piece of office furniture for privacy and concentration in open-plan offices, lobbies, recovery rooms and other open spaces."
The designers, MottoWasabi/Anna Salonen & Yuki Abe, explain:
Tomoko helps you to create an immediate territory of your own by eliminating elements that interfere with your concentration, such as noise or visual distractions. At the same time, it signals to others that you are not to be disturbed.
Leo at PSFK imagines it as "a compressed office."
It provides boundaries; a space, albeit tiny, of one’s own. The best part: It doesn’t require the amount of space normally needed for workroom privacy. Even if it’s an open plan at a cramped startup office and you share a desk with ten other people, Tomako can still give you your own world. With the black color and riot-helmet shape combined, it’s hard to imagine anyone would muster enough courage to interrupt your state of productivity.
Especially if they think you are Lord Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.
It might also be useful in Tiny houses and apartments, where everyone is on top of each other, literally and figuratively; "At home, Tomoko gives you a quiet place for reading a relaxing book or focusing on your home office work."
I thought it brought back memories of the Cone of Silence from Get Smart, although the Tomako probably works better. And of all of these ideas, I still like the Immersive Cocoon the best.