Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 workspaces

Here’s a six-second clip, attributed to the Harvard Innovation lab, purporting to show the evolution of a workspace from the 1980s to 2015. App by app, the machine subsumes everything. All your desk are belong to us! All your wall are belong to us! Everything, in fact, but your sunglasses and your phone (another machine) are belong to us.

This image of a proper workspace — with nothing, or little more than, a single machine — is everywhere online. (Here’s a tasteful example.) If it works, great. My sense of a workspace is somewhat different.

[One corner of a carrel to the left of my desk. I tried to get a decent aerial view of the desk and failed, because its contents spill over the sides. All four sides. Am I proud of that? No. But neither am I ashamed. That’s a kitchen timer in the front.]


1:19 p.m.: Elaine was disappointed that I gave up on the aerial view. So here it is. I sheared off the photo to show the desk itself, no feet or carpet below.

[Click for a larger, messier view. That’s a lampshade upper left.]

Related posts
Five desks
“Why shouldn’t your desk be messy too?”

[Yes, lowercase for lab . For “All your . . . ,” see Wikipedia.]

comments: 9

Fresca said...

My kitchen timer is a chicken.

A messy desk is a sign of a working mind. (Or so I like to think.)

Gunther said...

It's so sad to see a machine pocketing the world perceived by the senses, depriving us to a large extent of sensory perception and fooling us into believing that this is progress. – I like your owl-shaped kitchen timer.

Marzek said...

I can still recall an article from when computers were becoming a regular part of the workplace, regarding the virtues of the messy desk. Rather than a directory of identical-looking file names, the messy desk presents a rich and varied amount of visual material. A tiny edge of a pink memo, the corner of a blue envelope, a patch of red ink -- all offer immediate recognition. The papers you handle the most often remain near the center or on top; those less necessary drift to the sides and back.
Also, I'd add, there is the deep satisfaction of CLEANING and sorting the desk when it becomes unmanageable. (Now something in my backbrain is saying, "hint! hint!").

Michael Leddy said...

@ Fresca, @Gunther: I’m a big believer in kitchen timers. I have an orange, an owl, and a plain old digital timer. Very helpful when grading papers, twenty minutes or so and then a break.

@Marzek, are you thinking of “A Plea for the Horizontally Organized”? I can’t claim to know exactly where things are, but I usually have a pretty good idea. My weakness is that I end up using other horizontal surfaces (like the floor) as extensions of the desk.

The Crow said...

What?! No empty sardine can?

Michael Leddy said...

Ha! No, sardines are a kitchen-only item. (Though my desk is a kitchen table used as a desk.)

Elaine said...

Where's the coaster and water glass?

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine, if you’re wondering about my desk, there’s usually a tile coaster made from a map of NYC (a present from my daughter), but it was in use over by the stereo. If you’re wondering about the minimalist desks, I dunno. I expected to see lattes there myself.

Barnaby Capel-Dunn said...

An interesting example of product placement, Michael!