Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Which Space Do You Work?


Richard Florida over at Creative Classroom (one of my favorite blogs) had a most interesting post today about creative spaces. He based some of his reactions on a recent NY Times bit about office spaces.
He writes:
'In Rise, I said the organizational precursors of the creative company
are Edison's laboratory and Andy Warhol's factory. The traditional
office is a place for control and for gossip and small talk. It is
inefficiency and waste taken to a new level. People visit with one
another, chit-chat, and get little actual work done. Just watch any
episode of "The Office" for crying out loud. With the rise of
electronic technology, like the stuff I'm using now, we can get focused
work done more effectively at home, on the road, in a coffee shop and
other venues than at the office. At home I work on the couch - I've
given up my home office.
Right now I'm working on a rattan lounge chair.
The office - or what used to be the office - now becomes a venue for
social interaction, for catching up, for discussing joint projects. The
social function becomes less about killing time and more important as a
way to connect, build relationships and keep up. One trend I've noticed
in my own work-style is that when I meet with colleagues and
collaborators at the office, we spend a lot more time catching up on
each other's lives and bonding so to speak than even talking about our
actual work. We then go home and send e-mail to catch up on that.
Most of my ideas are developed in a space other than the office. I
prefer the coffeeshop atmosphere.'

I would agree with this for the most part. I also have a predilection for choosing to do my creative work in places other than the conventional ones. And I also generally privilege the coffeeshop.
Technology enables the creatives to do their work anywhere. The presence of conventional walls is optional. All one needs are the gadgets that allow one to do the work and one could be at an airport in a foreign land, on a family member's Lazy Boy when visiting for the holidays, or at a coffeeshop. Any coffeeshop anywhere.
Like Richard, the best place for me to accomplish creative work is not necessarily my work or home office. The work office is a good space to deal with the quotidian elements of the work, and the home office area is necessary when dealing with the work I have to bring home if the day was not enough to take care of it.
Just where do I feel I am the most creative? I would say, anywhere. As long as I have all my necessary tech tools which fit nicely in an urban bag. The contents of that bag are what allow me to feel authentic. And as long as I have my urban bag the creative space can be created basically anywhere.
Where do you accomplish your creative work? How much does space actually matter?

graph per open house

5 comments:

Nicki said...

i'm at my most creative when driving around. looking at different objects provides much extrinsic motivation.

Eric said...

Coffee shops for writing, brunch places for reading, the living room for reading the paper and the mail, the office for basic work and meetings. My laptop, however, goes with me everywhere. Much of my office work is done away from the office itself. Like you, there where the "gadgets are, there I am also."

Xan said...

I too, have the best ides when driving as well as in my sleep. I have to have my notebook and gel pen with me so I can either pull (or roll) over and write it all down so I don't forget anything. When I had my Fujitsu Lifebook, I took it dressmaking, but I sold it last year as I tend to be my own gadget!

Xan said...

Oh yes Brikena, I meant to tell you that a HUGE part of why I want to teach is I need the freedom it would render me to collaborate with other creatives. I have spent years working in firms where my abilities were absolutely wasted and I was stifled.

Rebecca said...

When running and in the shower. It's heterotopias that allow my creative juices to flow. I know you might be rolling your eyes at my use of 'heterotopias' but the word felt relevant here.