Thursday, February 21, 2008

The flow of a new office

It is interesting to be anywhere new. You pay particular attention to things you won't notice 6 months down the road. It's particularly interesting to change offices and compare say a hi-tech firm to a design office.

What I've noticed in the first few weeks:
  • It's weird not to be in a cube. Wow. As a creative person, you would think I would abhor the cube. I got used to my own little space, a few walls, a mini cubby to call my own. Though, the grey walls got old (ok, the first day I bought a Kandinsky poster to add as much color as humanly possible to the dismal gray). It's actually quieter because people don't holler randomly over the walls, they can actually converse face to face.
  • People listen and support each others ideas! It's not a battle of wills, its a group working together for the right solution. What a novel concept.
  • When you see people working, you are actually more productive. I know there is a good bit of theory behind this including the Portholes project (Dourish and Bly 1992 http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jpd/publications/1992/chi92-portholes.pdf), but I'm here to tell you its true. It is motivating to see others working.
  • I have been around for a week and haven't been in one meeting where we all sat and stared at the output of a projector. How refreshing! We talked to each other in a well lit room and used a white board to generate interesting ideas and conversation.
  • You are never too old to feel like "the new kid". Wherever there are lunch tables, there will be a person who feels awkward sitting down for the first time. Remember that feeling from grade school? It never quite goes away...
  • There is nothing cooler than a whole set of bookshelves full of design magazines just waiting for you to browse them. At your leisure, refer to them in your work and just enjoy them for the inspiring content. (ok, maybe a few cooler things, but it's quite wonderful)

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