Where We Work

There I was the other day sitting between my desk/table contemplating my work, that’s when it hit me.

My office space doesn’t work.

I’m not happy.

I spend/spent too much time bent over, especially when I was working on details . . . which is a lot of the time. It’s in those details and paying attention to those details that separates my work(at least I’d like to think so).

So I made the commitment to fix the way I work on these drawings.

I went out and got this table. Yeah! No more leaning over the board in an awkward angle trying to get things just right.

Always upright-much better angle

[ What a difference, working upright saves the lower back. ]

The small rack on the wall is from a old hardware store. It was some sort of display case-the middle section is a door fronted with chicken wire. It’s where I keep my Netsuke collection, Chops, Stamps, and other oddities.

The other side(see below) stayed the same-for now. I have no problem with this size flat table, if it were a couple of feet wider and a lose a foot on the depth . . . that would be perfection.

Two windows, one to the top of this picture(East facing) and one to the left(North facing) side of photo. That wall to the left is a solid bookcase wall(need to post that).

Enough room for several projects

[ With this balance I’m able to balance several projects at once. ]

I have a few more changes I need to make including the desk where the larger desktop computer now resides . . . the desk it sits in now needs more hide storage and I do not like the aesthetics, I want something that looks better.

Along those lines I found some very interesting studies/offices/workspaces of other “creative types”. This article was in the Guardian and if this subject interest you, you’ll wind up looking at most if not all of these very personal workspaces.

Here are a couple that caught my eye:

David Hare study
This is the study of David Hare and I like it. It’s easy to see that the space is very personal to David and that it’s easy to see he spends a lot of quality time here.

Link to take you to the page with above photo and some discussion about why Briggs like this space.

Here’s another space, totally different from above, and totally different from mine. It’s easy to see right off that a illustrator lives here:

Raymond Briggs study
There’s a lot going on here, but the key is-it works. The person who works here has everything where it needs to be for them, and the personal touches, enough to distract from boredom or focus when crunch time happens.

Direct link to the page, with description.

What’s your space?

How/where do you work? Does it work for you? Is it a space you have to share with others? Stuck in a cubicle?

No offense to those of you who work in a cubicle . . . but never again. I spent a brief period of time in a cubicle and that was enough. I don’t know how you do it?

Anyway . .. if you’re feeling motivated send me some pics of where you work and tell me how you like your situation, or don’t like your situation. I’d really like to see them.

If you do let me know if it’s okay to post them on here. Maybe we can learn better ways to design/develop our own spaces by seeing how other Designer’s/ Creative Types spend their time.


Addendum: If my office pics look familiar it’s because I posted those not long ago. I was feeling the need to post a couple images of my cluttered desktop. It seemed like a good thing to do at the time 🙂

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. I always draw standing up. I have a chair but hardly ever sit on it (except to look out of the window!) – better for the lumbar spine. My biggest problem with details is remembering to breathe. Sounds odd but when doing really intricate stuff I suddenly realise that I am holding my breath.

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