Weeknote 19/42

I miss the studio. The people, the space.

I spent the last three weeks with the client’s in-house design team. There, about 10 people share a 25m² room. Often the air is so thick, you can cut it with a knife. Desks and chairs are a limited resource, so sometimes the hallway is used as an overflow space. People are constantly searching for wall space which is not yet covered with post-its, scribbles, printouts. And while these are anything but ideal working conditions, the mood is surprisingly good. Which speaks for the team and its culture.

I hope to get to a point soon, where I can work at least one or two days a week from our studio. But the whole project needs a little more direction first, so tasks can be planned and processes established.

On the weekend I was at the studio to fetch the mail. With a little distance, I realized once again how much I love the space. It’s such a beautiful room with a great atmosphere. The height of the ceiling is magnificent and the change of light and shadow during the day is magical.

But it also became apparent to me how neglected it is.

The office I’ve spent the last three weeks at is ugly and crowded. But because space is limited, it’s very dynamic. People change desks (or sit on the floor). The huge white-board is wheeled in and out, featuring a new artwork every day. Kapa boards are changing their positions and content constantly.

When I came to the studio on a quiet Sunday, the first thing that caught my eye was the sad state of our plants. Then: A package of gum a guest left on our shelf, a poster that fell down from the wall, an empty can of spray chalk… stuff in places, where it doesn’t belong, where it was left “temporarily”, but hasn’t been moved since weeks.

All this can be easily fixed. But these are just symptoms. What causes this situation and what can be done to prevent it from happening again is more difficult to pin down. Because the absence of some persons, mine included, is definitely a factor but not the sole one. To be discussed…