Maybe it’s best to post this on the weekend, when hopefully you aren’t reading this at work. I don’t know where you work (how could I?) but as an artist I work at home, which is where I like to be, as much as possible. I was once the art director of Us Weekly, which had offices on the second floor on 6th & 51st Street in midtown Manhattan, where I had my own (windowless) office. It was furnished and decorated by me, and was referred to as “Café Trey”, I guess, due to the low lighting, lounge area, free candy and relaxing water feature. The rest of the offices were another matter. Only three offices – the Creative Director, the Executive Editor and Editor in Chief – even had windows. Everyone else worked in a grey, windowless TOTALLY non-creative environment. The job itself was creative (along with editors, Bonnie Fuller and Janice Min, it’s no exaggeration to say we all REINVENTED the celebrity mag that you see everywhere today.) I liked the people and I was paid very well – but we spent 12-hour days there and we very often ate three meals a day in the office. After nearly three years, honestly, I couldn’t stand being in that environment anymore, so I left to pursue my art career and be in my self-designed space.
That’s a long intro to get to some pictures, but these shots got me to thinking about how important creative environments are. If you imagine that Amsterdam must be one of THE coolest places to live, besides being beautiful – and Google would be one of the coolest companies to work for, then Google in Amsterdam must totally ROCK! Yep, you’re right. Look at these pics. The interiors are by Dutch architects, D/Dock. I like the idea of getting paid to hang out here.
My favorite New Yorker cartoon ever illustrates how far we’ve come – and need to go. Two males executives are walking by a row of desks and one says to the other, “Each employee can have a plant, or a poster – but not both.” (Photos; Alan Jensen)