We asked Gregory Han, Apartment Therapy’s Unplggd editor, to think about his ideal workspace. Here’s what the Los Angeles-based technophile came up with.
When asked what my ideal live/work space would be, the question initially was digested as an overwhelming proposition. Ideals tend to overcomplicate and a truly meaningful place to live and work would be one where life’s complexities could be peeled away and where the simple answers for difficult questions could be tackled with both focus and calm. Given the opportunity to add or subtract, I believe the space I would most prosper within would be one of minimalism, but with well devised tech and storage options, maximizing the transition between work, relaxation and play seamlessly.
I find my most memorable moments of inspiration happen in two disparate places: in the bath tub (which I try to enjoy at least once every few days) and while hiking outdoors away from the madding crowds. In both cases, it’s because of the solitude and quiet each allows I find myself thinking and creating freely; internal dialogues, problem solving and just free-form visualization happen either while soaking in the tub or climbing into a creek carved valley. It’s a wonder I haven’t yet tried to work from the tub, considering my affinity for hot baths.
So where does that leave me now with the question of my ideal live/work space? Currently I work in a very small home office, really just a closet made into a noir darkened niche comprising of a shallow desk, some installed shelving, a task chair and a few computing components. Despite the tight quarters, it works well for what I do as managing editor, and as is the case in many design problems, due to the limitations I’ve been forced to edit, minimize “things” while maximizing utility. Taking what I’ve learned from both this home office and the previous slightly larger (but still quite small) home office, the desired space I’d most want is not one enlarged spatially, but a work area detached from my living space…but only a few footsteps away from a main living area.
Noek Design design these beautiful prefabricated shelters called deckhouse (above); the sheds evoke the feel of a traditional Japanese structure in their simplicity and the honesty of the materials used. Sliding doors and an expanded deck which melts the idea of indoor and outdoor space. I’d love to have one of these deckhouses situated in a darkened, lush garden with a pond or fountain just outside the window or placed on top of a hillside amongst trees with a distant view in similar fashion to Peter Daniel Frazier’s The Cube (below).
Solar paneling on the roof would provide a modest amount of energy for a lazy fan or ambient LED lighting and the overhang would help reduce the glare on the monitors (alongside the lush garden or tree heavy surroundings). I really love built-in features that were more popular amongst mid-century architects, so the dream desk would be a floating affair, an extension of the interior space itself rather than a separate piece of furniture, complemented with shelving above for books and compartments to hide away clutter.
The floating desk would also feature cable and wire guides underneath and in the back, while hideaway grommet style USB and power port connections would make charging or connecting and peripheral a breeze. And although I currently use a laptop setup and like the flexibility it allows, if I had a dedicated dream space, a more powerful tower model hidden underneath the desk would permit me to use to wall mounted 24″ panels (Photoshop is a hungry, hungry child and it always wants more RAM and a faster GPU).
I’m an avid iPad user, so the option to incorporate the tablet into my desk would be useful when I don’t need it in hand, but I want it nearby for use. If you’re an 80′s kid like myself, you might remember corporate bad-boy, Ed Dillinger’s desk from the original TRON (below). It was a touchscreen dream machine, and till this day I admire how the UI’s graphical presence could easily disappear into the darkness of the surface when turned off. I’ll settle for a flush mounted USB charger and docking solution, with a slide door which would hide the flush docked iPad into the desk.
Basically, I want a space where the tech is deeply incorporated into the space, but hardly noticeable, where quiet and solitude help facilitate focused thought, but with a clear connection to the outdoor world surrounding the small home office. The close proximity of a tub would also be appreciated, but now I’m just getting fantasy-land ridiculous!