Work. For most people it’s a verb that doesn’t happen at the noun.
I discovered quit a few years ago that, at least for an architect, that sitting in front of a computer in a cubicle is one of the most least inspiring places to work. The work of an architect involves developing inspiring designs that provide solutions, complex code and constructability issues, and creating advanced and highly detailed documentation in order to build what we’ve designed. And we’re supposed to accomplish this by sitting in a cubicle?
Work, like too many things that mold our lives, is defined by established and sometimes archaic boundaries that are in place only because we accept them. If work didn’t suck then it wouldn’t be work. But what if work didn’t have to suck? What if you looked forward to going to work? What if the place you call work was inspiring and productive?
This is one of many facets of architecture that the general public doesn’t realize – architects redefine the perception of what something can be. A designer will approach a bad workplace by providing more natural light, getting newer furniture, and maybe incorporating a different color palette. An architect will start with the very core of the problem – why does work suck. We understand design issues, but we also understand issues of human interaction in formal and informal settings, spatial perceptions and how it affects productivity, and methods for increasing the chances of a more accommodating work environment.
Of course we can’t solve every single issue within a work place because it still comes down to the people in that office. If the people are just the biggest jerks on the planet then the greatest design won’t make them better people. But the architecture won’t be a hindrance.
Jason Fried’s talk is relatively short. If anything watch it and begin to question the norm of your office work place.