Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


The Perfect Office Design — How Does Your Office Measure Up?

January 28th, 2015

Episode 28 of 372 episodes

I’m a huge fan of the work of Christopher Alexander, and yesterday, for the hundredth time, I found myself urging someone to read his book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. This strange, brilliant, fascinating book uses architecture, sociology, psychology, and anthropology to describe the most satisfying environments. Instead of talking about familiar architectural styles and elements, it focuses on “patterns,” such as the Sitting Wall, the Front Door Bench, Child Caves, the Sequence of Sitting Spaces, Sleeping to the East. I love these! I want them for my own apartment! Ever since I read this book, I’ve been working my way through everything written by Christopher Alexander. As Huckleberry Finn said of Pilgrim’s Progress, I would say, “The statements was interesting, but tough.” A Pattern Languagediscusses houses, but it also covers commercial spaces and offices. It offers insights about why certain offices are more or less satisfying to work in. Take this quiz to see how your office measures up. I put a “yes” or “no” after each element, as it applies to my own office. -there’s a wall behind you (so no one can sneak up behind you). Yes. -there’s a wall to one side (too much openness makes you ...