Fascinating article by The New york Times' Allison Arieff, where she argues that it's neither the cubicle -- or fancy furniture designed to replace it -- that generates productivity. Instead, companies need to create working environments that respond to the people that work there.
Two other factors often undervalued (and often ignored) in the workplace? Family and time. Architect Iris Regn and artist Rebecca Niederlander have been working to bring these into the conversation by exploring the intersection between creativity and family life in an ongoing collaborative effort they call Broodwork.
Don't be put off by the awkward name. Broodwork suggests that, far from being the hindrance it's often presented as, incorporating family into work can have overwhelmingly positive effects. Regn is trained as an architect but is open enough in her thinking to understand that in the scheme of things, the adjustability of her desk isn't going to have an impact on her creative process nearly as much as what her daughter might say tonight at the dinner table.
"The first impetus [of Broodwork] was to get people to acknowledge interweaving of creative practice and family life," she told me. "Not to have to hide [your family] when you have to go pick up your kid while at a meeting, for example. That raised eyebrow is going away. Yes, you're juggling. That's just part of the deal. When you talk to other parents, everyone knows the deal so why is it that in a professional setting that can't be brought to the table?
|Danger Room in Afghanistan: The Perils of Armed Social Work|
|Grab the Airplane and Go|
|After Dark, the Dirty Work at Disneyland Begins|
|Midnight Observations of a Coffee Addict|
|The Men Who Clean Mumbai's Sewer System by Hand|
|“How do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic?”|
|“Tesla's Model S has outsold traditional high-end models from established European brands.”|
|The 24 Carrot Cake|
|“A modern trade route between Asia and Europe is under construction.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“There are over a billion people who have no access to energy what-so-ever.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”|
|“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"|