Saturday, October 3, 2009

reflection two

It was Saturday and I was sitting at work, I am a lab monitor in room 311. Most of my job is just to sit and occasionally let people in the door. There was no one in the lab so I started reading the third chapter in Cradle to Cradle. The first section about re-designing the concept of books didn’t really interest me that much and I considered to put the book away and do something else but then I started to read the next section and the concept of designing buildings “that gave the workers the feeling that they’d spent the day outdoors” and it really interested me. While I was reading this I was in a room that only had windows on the one wall and has light blocking blinds that are always down. All the light is artificial and comes from the eleven fluorescent lights and the 30 computer screens. There is no airflow in the room either; being in that environment for eight hours is exhausting. Even just reading about the giant windows, skylights, and tree lined interior of the building made me feel better. If that was the working environment for everyone I cannot image how productivity wouldn’t go up. It would energize people, instead of exhaust them.


  1. Oh man! That reminds me of this episode of the Upright Citizens Brigade where they have a hyperminimalist office building, which is a bunch of desks in the woods. It's pretty funny, actually.

    Also: were you in the mac lab? while it would energize people, I think it would also make them think about doing different kinds of work -- just looking out the window right now is making me want to go frolic outside!

    Then again, I'm the kind of person who ALWAYS wants to be outside.

  2. Just have to say that the Upright Citizen's Brigade is hilarious. And I remember that episode.

    But I definitely agree- I think that part of the reason that big windows make us wish we were outside says something about us and our supposed natural state. Perhaps if we didn't lvie in a culture that was so separate- nature/city, inside/outside, and instead it was more regularly integrated, then that longing to be outside wouldn't be so strong. If it were the norm, not the exception, to be surrounded by sunshine and greenery while we were doing work, perhaps we would actually be more 'productive' (can you even measure that, really?) and it would be easier to focus. Staring at a tree when I need a break is probably actually better for me than checking facebook every ten minutes.