Sea of cubicles (or cube farm or cubicle farm) is a derisive vernacular term for featureless, modern open office designs which consist of seemingly endless rows of identical office cubicles.
The exact origin of the term has been lost. However, modern experiments in open office design date to the 1950s when the Quickborner team (Germany) developed office landscape. It was quickly replaced by systems furniture (a.k.a. cubicles). Robert Propst of the Herman Miller company is usually credited (or disparaged) as the inventor of the modern systems furniture cubicle. However, in fairness to Propst, his original concepts were far removed from the sea of cubicles. In fact, early designs using systems furniture often reflected the irregular geometry and organic circulation patterns of office landscape.
In popular culture
The comic strip Dilbert by Scott Adams uses the term to satirize the prevalent cubicle culture of large corporations.