|The Artifacts in a Creative Environment|
|See the AI Products section
for specific work stations, WorkWall Units and storage units.
||Defining a Culture: Physical Artifacts
Christopher Alexander characterizes environments, including cities, in terms of the patterns that help people relate to the environment and each other. His patterns are very real, and often man-made, such as: sheltering roof, garden wall, window place, thickening outer walls. Jane Jacobs characterizes cities in terms or how people relate, describing the vibrance of cities with a variety of establishments along its sidewalks. She also characterizes cities in terms of their abilities to grow their economic activities and the regions that surround them. Other authors characterize cities in terms of the paths, landmarks, gathering places, and open spaces within them.
Almost all authors characterize cities in terms of the man-made artifacts that make them recognizable. What do we know about the ancient cities of Rome, Athens, Pompeii or Troy? What we know we learned largely from physical artifacts that made up the daily lives of the inhabitants. Our culture is shaped by our physical and metaphysical environments. How carefully then we must consider the artifacts that we bring to our lives, because it is more often these man-made artifacts that actually make the men and women who use them.
In a city, streets, buildings, sounds, smells, activities, gardens,
rooms, automobiles, trains, streets, offices, hospitals, homes, schools,
signs and a host of other elements compose the artifacts that identify
the culture. What are those elements in our work places? Some are subtle,
like background music, but nonetheless powerful. Others are irritants,
like tangled nets of computer cords. Still others denote rank, like the
large mahogany desk. Think about the power these artifacts have to influence
what we do and who we are!
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Invitation to join the dialogue
|Reflections on Good Work
Think about what you have to do today in your work, your family life, and your social life. Use all of your senses on this exploration, including the "sixth sense." What instruments doyou absolutely have to have available to do a good job with your projects? List the items that are "nice to haves." Describe the effect if you had the "nice to haves." Do you have everything you need now? Why not? Can you get what you need? Describe what it takes to obtain the necessary materials or tools, or just to arrange the "atmosphere" so it works for you.
Meet with your team or the people in your work group or family. Discuss what the group needs to increase productivity, collaboration and creativity. What do you need to change? Change two things in your environment to make it better. Document the resources needed for the change and its impact over the next few days. Begin a list of things that need to be changed and the resources--including permission--needed. Change things.