Friday, November 09, 2007

Good design habits

Sandra insisted that I post about some of my observations about the time I spent at Leap's office. (by the way, thanks again to Raul, Heriberto and David for letting me disturb their workplace). This post is dedicated to you guys! I'm telling you that I am still trying to catch up with many pending stuff.

When I taught to the first year architecture students, one of the rules for my lectures was never, ever to put any cups, bottles, thermos, cans or any other kind of container with liquids over their drawing tables at the risk of failing that exercise if I cached them breaking this rule. All liquids should be placed on the floor... or else. When I was a student, a friend said that the exact inclination of the drawing desk, was at which the coffee mug wouldn't slip down... and I always thought, well, he shouldn't have a coffee mug on his desk on the first place anyway!

despedidaI noticed at LeAP was that everyone kept their drinks on the floor. They all have different backgrounds, I mean they studied at different universities, and yet, they all have the same good habit, as any good architect may have: to put anything liquid away from your work. Maybe it's because it also looks horrible to have bottles and drink's cans on top of your desk. I must admit that I used to put my coca-cola on my desk, but always behind the monitor, and only at night or when I was going to leave the office, the rest of the time it was on the floor. It was a funny ritual when the "señora" came to clean the office, every one would keep working and only lift their bottles from the floor when she approached, meanwhile they didn't put the bottle on their desks, but rather they waited until she finished, and then put it back on the floor. The lady always looked puzzled and she may have been thinking: "this weirdos, why they don't simply keep their bottles on their desks and let me clean without worrying of spilling their drinks on the floor!"

Also on the floor, was a supermarket bag that we all used as rubbish bin until Raul bought some nice bins from office depot. Although, it would have been nice to have the reused paper bin, or the iCan to go with all other macs, or this kitschig but award winning crushed paper bins by essey. Anyway, It's nice to think that all that people only generates half a bag of rubbish. Mostly, just napkins from starbucks. I remember those times when we talked about a "paperless office" and many fellow architects said it was impossible. Well, I learned to work paperless when I first moved to NZ, I came here with just my laptop... and all my drawing equipment was on storage boxes. Now, they are still are on storage boxes because I don't need them anymore. It could be weeks or months until I actually "have" to print something. Even then, it must be something that I have to bring or send somewhere: a catalogue, sketches, or a formulaire. The only problem now, is that a have gazillions of data CD's and you have to keep a good archiving system, otherwise, it's impossible to find a specific file within those discs. I used to print covers for all my CDs... now, we buy them on bulk packages of 50 or 100 with no jewel-cases.

pentaphoneAnother habit I observed, is that of the telephone use. Everyone had a cellphone (or two) and then there was also the land-line with 3 wireless phones. Short calls were taken at the workplace, long calls (longer than 1 or 2 minutes) were taken outside. It was also a good excuse to get off the chair and extend the legs for a while... and sometimes also to enjoy the view... something that somehow takes me to this video, for you to enjoy, also dedicated to the guys at LeAP... (if you open an office in the US some day, don't forget to hire Crissy... or Veronica, and you could hire me too: I could supervise them).


(OK, again, most of my quotes came via: architectradure ... I told ya' )
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Blogger Roolhaas said...

It was a pleasure to have you as another element of the office, I really miss those nice night talks about everything that always somehow ended 'round design. Maybe that is another good design habit, to discuss and talk about it, of course this habit may not look so good for all those not-designers around us.
Our place is open for you to come back whenever you want!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

OH yes, just to talk about anything expands one's mind... but on the other hand, I didn't had any time to write anything!

I miss the "borachitos" and other treats.


PS: seems like I accidentally deleted part of a paragraph. I'll try to reconstruct that again.

1:36 AM  

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