San Jose Mercury News - Out of the box: Valley companies dump cubicles for open office spaces: "Whatever Intel's decision, for many, cubes are becoming dinosaurs."
This is one of those ideas that work great on paper but crash terribly in real life since they haven't written down the most important rule. Only the same type of people can be in the One Big Room.
It will work fine, if and only if, all the creative types or all the telephone types are together, people like the art department and the computer programmers, they have basically the same work style as they are both creative, lots of time faced down creating something wonderful. You can also put customer service and sales in the same room as they are all on the phone all day and that works too.
It is really easy to see if One Big Room is working or not. If most of the creative types are coming in at odd times or asking for telecommuting or you keep running into them in outlying conference rooms then you know your workspace isn't working and is costing you significant amounts in lost productivity.