I'm at a new desk. I've transformed one of my rooms into a new office - come guest room. The desk is tall and looks like a bar and you sit on bar stools (with lower back support). My idea is to have a space where I can work with people round the same table. We can talk and work and it's easy to slip in and out of the space.
I'm paying attention at the moment to the way my work with online tools is making me more conscious of offline spaces. I find myself worrying at the way people are reaching for online tools as panaceas. Mastering the tool becomes a pathway to a promised land.
I'm co-responsible for those expectations. And I increasingly doubt them. Spaces as places to be together and alone. How do we design for those spaces and places?
In her (as always) fantastic Nobel Lecture on Not Winning the Nobel Prize Doris Lessing says
"Writers are often asked, How do you write? With a processor? an electric typewriter? a quill? longhand? But the essential question is, "Have you found a space, that empty space, which should surround you when you write? Into that space, which is like a form of listening, of attention, will come the words, the words your characters will speak, ideas – inspiration.
If this writer cannot find this space, then poems and stories may be stillborn."
I'm struck by how "writers" could be a metaphor for people as creators of meaning. Do we need an empty space to surround us as we design meanings for our lives? Where are the empty spaces for listening and paying attention to words and inspiration? How meaningful is what we are doing, if we can't find that space? How many poems and stories of learning and change may be stillborn, if we grab the instruments and ignore the spaces?