May 5, 2011


Rocking a new deck. Befores and afters, sized appropriately.

Space and Productivity

This article is just the next in a long line of what I find to be an interesting area of study takes on the value of space and architecture as a motivator for activity and productivity. Architecture as a condition of productivity, then, is no joke.

My wife and I have lived in a modest semi for several years now and between my architectural and her design interests, we've poked and prodded our way through an aesthetic overhaul. The result is a space we covet with our free time. Cooking in is a respite rather than a chore. So too is yardwork, when there are privacy fences, cedar decks, and cherry blossoms in bloom.

Look at workplaces then. Seems like a space is often only intuitively considered, when there can be clear bottom-line benefits in terms of productivity and happiness among employees that hinge on the lease you sign.

April 28, 2011

The Loudest Voice In The Room

Let’s be clear from the start that my own interest/engagement level with politics is casual in election runs and less than awake otherwise; I live in Canada and get most of my paycheque, so just keep doing what you’re doing, whoever you may be. From a straight policy standpoint, regardless of winner and party, little will be done to disrupt my cushy semi-socialized enclave.

The first English-language debate went down in the middle of April, in advance of the election, and was widely scored a Harper victory, mainly because he behaved like a man among children as his hopeful successors focused on personal accusations over policy.

Two weeks on, Jack Layton is no #fail. He’s second, the pitbull who’s galvanized some strange but widening subset of Canadian underdog culture. I thought he’d wiffed, but two weeks offer time to recalibrate some ideas about community. Everyone gets a say now. Where once dignity and decorum reigned, now the tantrum resides. It’s like sport. Futbol players find their inner Broadway to sway the referee, and fourth-liners beat the everloving shit out of each other to avenge perceived transgressions against a star. The reason matters least; the distinction is what counts.

Once, a leader’s values, his capacity to understanding the complexities of federal governance, and his ability to communicate those challenges to a public far less sophisticated to a man than he, would be someone you could rally around. Now we seems predisposed to choose the guy who with the loudest voice, who most demands to be heard. Social democracy says all the better that we all have a common say, and you’d be hard-pressed to disagree. But there may be an entitlement factor creeping in, a notion that we are more apt to side with whoever makes the most noise, whoever sounds the most like one of us clowns with no idea what they’re talking about.