Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Improving officespace: death to cubicles

How the color taupe ever made its way into U.S. offices I will never know. I am so sick of this color I could scream. My friend, Alex, and I talk about this regularly. Humans love and crave color; so how did corporations miss that? There is nothing inspiring about taupe and if I can’t be inspired then I can’t work.

I’ve been thinking about the subject a lot lately as I am in the process of moving into a new space at work. Originally, the facilities people were trying to figure out how to cube it up as I am sharing the office with another person. I fought my urge to roll my eyes and gag. Cube up this beautiful office? What??

If I had my way I’d paint it some fabulous color, put down Tatami mats, create a “Beautiful Mind” wall, and leave that space as open as possible – no walls thank you. I’m getting my way, partially. No fabulous paint color (white is all that’s “allowed”), no Tatami mats. I am going to have a beautiful mind wall and though the space won’t be totally open, it will have bookcases and a credenza in a cherry finish as a “wall” as opposed to taupe cubicle walls. It’s a start.

The progress has been driven by my boss and to the members of the facilities team who took us downstairs into the depths of our corporate building to the warehouse where they hide the cool furniture. We’re hoping to have the place set up and be moved in by the end of the month. And here’s the kicker: the maintenance team is excited to do the project. It’s something new and different for them. Finally, a creative outlet for them! They hate the taupe, too.

I came across a post on the website http://www.coolhunter.net/ that addresses the problem of boring office space with outrageous ideas. And given the rut that corporate office design is stuck in, I think being outrageous may be the only way to wake us up from our cubicle-induced coma. Enjoy these wild officescape photos and I hope they inspire you to buck the taupe.



Mike Deutsch said...

Hey Christa,

No, beige is not conducive to high spirited work. You might find inspiration from this Wired article from just before New Years...


Another cube slave,

Christa said...

Hi Mike! Thanks for this article - I'm excited to dig into it!