Archive for February, 2009

Further develpment

February 23, 2009

The idea is derived from the round room of Nucleus project. There the frame was separating the space out of other bigger area. The function of every frame is to divide  space with imaginary or material surfaces, it also joins the distant parts of the structure making it complete object and enabling function. Here the frame is brought back unlike the previous models where it was reduced to a secondary feature. Now it is back the main feature of the space.

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Second model

February 17, 2009

In this attempt to modeling I considered a table as a free element. It is independent from other elements and replaceable with other. This is an idea that contrary to the office or home office environment the table location is not set in stone. I imagine that the by-desk-element is carrying the main load of the electronic devices like printer, external memory, modem, lighting base, emergency power supply and so on. The next attempt, I imagine, is going to be maybe even more flexible and parts of it more independent from each other.

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Tutorial with Hilary French

February 10, 2009

Hilary sees a problem in treating the workstation as an conglomerate of elements influencing/regulating the mental condition of a person using it. She told me that this is a role o an interior designer and an architect. She would like me to think about it as an object in itself, not as something which influences the space of the home interior. Suggested that I should think about the generic function of the desk not how it is perceived by user mentally as a place of work. Her questions are:

– How my former findings inform my brief?

– Why is it designer responsibility to control focus [of a user]?

– Is there a problem that needs solving?

Are there answers in design?

DSI – design scene investigation

February 10, 2009

I think many times the approach to workstation design is quite automatic. I could approach it to the Chinese uniform design. Hyper functionality makes it the machine to spend our active time by. I see nothing bad in ergonomics and efficiency but did not we forget about something I could call mental ergonomics which. Maybe I am exaggerating but I think that the way how we do improve the quality of our mental activities is important. This topic is already generally defined in ISO regulations.
Ergonomic principles related to mental work-load
ISO 10075:1991
ISO 10075-2:1996
ISO 10075-3:2004

Because we are similar mentally a human beings we do:
When we want to be focused – switch of the main light (that makes us separated visually from the rest of the surrounding) put the stoppers on our ears to cut off form the external sounds or play very ambient quiet music (there are differences between individuals though)
When we want to be more active we stay in light, (preferably natural sunlight) we listen to the rhythmic, faster and louder tunes to become more lively. Drinking coffee is relevant to both situations.
As I can see we can discern to ways of using the workspace: he open one when we interact with all the elements of the space and closed one when we focus on one only workspace usually the desktop. There are of course several stages between those two schemes.
From those points we can expand our deeper understanding of how we are functioning in space according to its space. Home workspace has this feature that we have better control over our surroundings than in the office and we can customize it freely.
Be careful though because too much freedom can make you too busy controlling instead of working.

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Structure in the space studies sketches (influenced by Nucleus project)

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Sketches analysing the possibility of two individuals working in ones space – creating more welcoming environment for professional having a business visitor.

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Rhino sketch-rendering exploring  idea from the sketches above.

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Scaled mock-ups

Alchemy

I have a feeling that people are treating me a bit like an alchemist trying to interlace some vague ideas in to the objects I am designing. Maybe it is somehow true but what is wrong with it? I have some of my very personal thoughts concerning some features which goes unnoticed but in the same time those thoughts are making the difference. One of those alchemical proposals of mine is the way we treat screens by the desk. They are very strong indicators of an office desk character. The thing that I personally do not digest in it hat it makes this flat awkward barrier for my sight and thoughts.

I would see the screens of any kind something more than the wall. If so I wold see it a an unusual walls.  Here I am presenting the curtain like screens which are dragging me inside and help me focus more on the place and working, thinking process.  The structure of this kind of a theatre of thoughts might be an on-desk fixture, flattish screen or a lampshade.

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Inspiration – Torii gates (fot. by The Artist   http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_artist/1008417339/)

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Somebody have seen my blog.

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Brief Editing

February 7, 2009

To design a feature/features of the home workspace.

– Mind the differences between the specifics of the traditional office environment and its counterpart at home.

– Consider that many people working from home are self employed with disabilities. Try to move any complex activity to the suitable height.

– Think about the design of this object as designing the station enhanced in a way that helps you to reduce the amount of wiring at your desktop. Move the wiring on the side objects so eventually the desk becomes wireless (wireless mouse and keyboard). Than you could use practically any desk by this workstation.

– Consider removing any bonds joining table with the technology of the working environment to make it independent.

– Te tendency to design a desk to make it clutter free is chasing an utopia. What people do mostly by their desk is making it cluttered. Controlling the use of the desk is also hard to achieve. Explore the possibility of suggesting the function of the certain parts according to your observations.

– Home workstation cannot be devoid of its representative features. It has to be balanced form, trustful, elegant and solid looking structure.

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Research conclusions

February 6, 2009

Specificity of home environment . Quite a few things are coming into my mind when thinking about the specific of working at home. Working at home involves being mixed with ones home life, does not provide an option of being excluded like in case of being at work somewhere else, as such it would be good to have the space dedicated for work out of the rest of the home, room, flat. It gives one a possibility of escape from work when at home. Some of people do not have this comfort of having separate workshop, office, private room no matter how we name it. The possibility of successful concentration in the place when other people are leading their normal life is decreased in this case. It is possible, and people do it often when working, to put earphones or noise protectors on to be isolated from external noise. For some of those though it is not a problem when the level of the noise or its character allow to get used to it.

Business Visits. Before people started to travel to work they of course did their job nearby the place they lived, in surrounding buildings, or in special rooms, or chambers how they used to call it. They were dealing in their business spaces, stores, warehouses, offices located in their homes or by it side. Characteristic feature o nearly every profession is the fact of having business visitors. Not every place is suitable to undertake a guest ad even less is suitable to any kind of cooperation with this kind of guest. In most cases it a lo of visitors must deal with keeping their laptops n their knees, low coffee tables, squeeze in by the side of a host co-operator and lurking over the shoulder standing trying to see what the other one is trying to demonstrate. None of workstations I have seen is sitable to a kind of work involving both the host and customer in he way being convincing for both of them, equaly comfortable and giving the feel of being proessionally hosted.

Focusing on work depends on the distracting factors and their intensity. Some people find themselves distracted by the fact that someone is passing in their view range, some are not even distracted by the smell of food prepared by someone else. Some people are closing eyes to concentrate and some shorten their sight focus automatically to not to see sharply when thinking. Most of the people focus their attention when looking at the candle flame – it is very relaxing. Very focus-friendly I find layers putting themselves on, that the one sticks out behind the previous one symmetrically from both sides, like the curtains and layers of decorations in the theatre.

It draws us into the space visually and, in my opinion, is better to wok with than flat solid wall in front of the desk.

Other focusing techniques is having an opening in a solid surface one can observe what is behind and focus sight on the one far object. The other technique useful in front of the wall is having a mirror placed in a way that one can observe what is behind to allow having a far focus when working in front of the computer.

Quiet distractions. Other elements like fast moving objects and fast music, speeds one up when working and regular rhythm allows to work more rhythmically and smoothly over certain tasks.

If something is running to fast – an action plan, people sending next tasks shortly after the other or if we are somehow forced to glance at the running stopwatch in our sight range – we are becoming heavily stressed. We are very receptive creatures.


http://www.maciekwojcicki.com/

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Workspace & motivation – questionaire summary

February 6, 2009

dscf6510My own workspace (fragment)

To check what people think and to verify my notion of the influence of the workspace on user I have prepared a questionnaire and gathered feedback opinions.

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1 Do you think that the work space can make you reluctant to work? (yes/no)

yes / yes / yes / no / I love my work – therefore I can’t hate my workspace / yes definitely / yes / yes / no / yes / yes / yes – if you mean in general / no- if you mean the my studio in particular

2 What is that makes you reluctant to start or carry on with the work in certain space?

(e.g. not enough space, lighting conditions, mess, lack of sth, excess of sth, colour, space arrangement, certain materials used, structural features …etc.)

crowded desk / too little space / not having tools at hand / distracting or solitary workspace / limited space /mess / too cold / too dark / not enough space / anything which makes me uncomfortable – like TV near me / thinking abut outdoor activities / friends around / skype / lack of natural light- big thing / when dark outside feel like go to bed or stay in bed / distractions / noises / too bright fluorescent light / lighting conditions / space arrangement / lack of materials / usually mess / lack of free space / feeling of temporariness of the workspace (come, work, go) / low-level lighting and loud music are things I would not choose to have in my work space but these things are easy to change so wouldn’t be unmotivating / damp spaces with mouldy damp walls would make me reluctant to work in the space but I would if I had to.

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3 Are there any especially disturbing situations with objects in your working space? What are they?

too many papers / models / struggling with having not enough leg space / tv / keeping vase of flowers on my desk – flooded laptop / no such situations / no such situations / scrap materials things useful one day and than cluttering the space / most disturbing thing is the amount of spiders that I find in timber – I find this difficult to cope with.

4 What are the kinds of objects other than tools in your work area? (Mascots, emotional objects, photos, favourites miscellaneous…)

coffee cups etc / bits and pieces from friends / photos / presents / rapid form models / projects / not used /  music / flowers, presents / photographs / light music on radio / books / magazines /collection of different lights / postcards / photos / old models / window / ideas and objects / famous furniture / design works / m mug / parts of other projects / mementos / the odd bit of fruit or a drink / a few books but only relating to my work

Are they making any change to your motivation in work? Would it be the same if they were not there when you work?

enjoying to be surrounded by mementos / they brighten up the office / it is nice to make yourself like home / no they just make me feel like home / window is important / it is an inspiration so yes / finish the work is most important / they are important / yes they make change / it is nice to see where you have been with other projects

Is their presence positive to your work or you are just keeping it even though they are being awkward?

positive – though some of it nuisance /the presence is positive / positive / enriching my life / positive / very positive / positive /positive,

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5 Is there something in your work space that is the extra motivating factor? What is it?

(clock, timer, calendar, “get yourself to work !” labels, a chair -hard to get out of, etc…)

no / be calm magnet on the fridge / messages on the wall / nothing / I am self motivating / things that I think have been designed well  – would like my projects joined them / work I want to improve / nothing / well working machines and tools / things around me / It changes – usually a picture for inspiration / no

6 What you have seen in others people workspaces which can be a motivating factor for them. Would you put something like that in your space?

model images / pictures of things I like / speakers drawers under desk / power socket / nice flowers! / nothing / library – plenty of books / cant think of anything like that / post it notes / white board / yes if I can afford / motivation is inspiration ant this means objects, plastic fried egg- I do not feel like I need one / ‘to do’ lists – I do these that I don’t forget to do anything though not to motivate.

7 What motivates you the most to start work in your space?

clean desk / structured piles / I tend not to work in my space but surf the net / clean clear desk / free space / new spaces like hotel rooms are very exciting / unfinished work trying to enjoy my activities / coffee / people around me /clean desk / pen, sketchbook and coffee / I don’t have any physical things that make me start working

What motivates you to start work at all, if there is nothing motivating in your workspace?

the project itself / power of will / enjoyment / panic / deadlines / seeing others working hard / unfinished problems / pressure /internet. / I’m very motivated to work as I see that I have a little time to make the most of the facilities here and I need to leave completely ready to work on my own. So I work!

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Influences

February 4, 2009

Conclusions of all those previous themes deliberations appeared to be very useful and influential for the Home Workspace project for the final show.

Hospitlity of objects – I have focused on finding hospitality in everyday object. The goal is to inform objects with intuitive hospitality to create more welcoming environments. What are the unexplored elements of objects which make them hospitable in the way human beings are and is it possible?

Untitled-1.aiGiles Miller (Farm) and Roberto Feo (El Ultimo Grito) on my staircase tamers Andaz Hotel exhibition, London 2008.

Nucleus.Camera – living space. My idea behind this theme was to use modular elements of the furniture designed to divide the space of the single chamber in to the round shaped structure inside of which the space becomes the main living arena while space behind it takes over several functions like dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. The mobility of the modular elements makes the space more unexpected and intriguing. Opening or closing of the space depending on the occasion, showing more or less of our private sphere. Idea evolved out of the Hospitality of objects project.

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Crisis of will, an attempt to look at the phenomenon of WILL and its different factors: motivation, engagement, passiveness, inertia, avoidance, persuasion to name the most significant ones.
How to find them and inscribe in objects and how crisis of will can be approached and overcame, stimulated, triggered with new pieces of material culture.

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Design review:

http://www.architonic.com/mus/sea/desk/1

Disability and selfemployment. Paper showing how significant number of self employed people are disabled.

http://wpeg.group.shef.ac.uk/refereeing2006/papers20006/latreille2.pdf

Vitra

http://www.vitra.com/en-gb/

Ronan and Erwan

http://www.bouroullec.com/


Home work overview

February 4, 2009

Contemporary technologies give us the opportunity to work from home. Mobile technologies allow us to work even outdoor if we want. It has this good feature that we can choose a place where we would like to work, but also threatening us to use our holiday time to work. This is the curse of modern times – we spent more of our technologically earned time to work more and more. In cities like London where traffic is everywhere and people spent half of their working time to get into the place of work. a vision of working at home is tempting and more of them is thinking about staying a home. Employers seems to be more and more interested in this form of leading their businesses because of much smaller rent of a space in the good location. The Federation of Small Businesses estimated 20% of the UK working population(6.4 million people) did not get to work because of recent snow fall in UK, it means if they did not work that day for the day there is a loss of £900m. If only a part of those people could work from home savings could be much bigger. Though it is only incidental case of heavy snow in the country with mild climate a lot of other reasons is good enough to excuse work from home: time saving, lower traffic intensity, fuel costs, lower rent, lower cost of work, office accessories and other business running costs, stress of traveling, traveling expenses and even more.

Working at home is a specific kind of work and has many faces. First of all it depend what kind of work one performs. Different kind of activities and time is spent in different parts of home: a workshop in ones garage, call visage specialist, home bureau owner. It seems that most of them have a common features – paperwork, desk, computer, Internet connection and modems, phone/fax, printer, scanner. These are basics elements of nearly every kind of business. The problem is how to connect it together in one workstation which is functioning smoothly and is clean, well organized, uncluttered, handy, comfortable, properly lit, quiet, intimate, discreet.

http://www.maciekwojcicki.com/