Creating a new workspace

July 21, 2009

Hey everyone! I’ve just moved into my new place which is 3 minutes away from school, so this week has been quite hectic and exciting. As a student, my budget is small, even smaller now that I’ve moved out, and I am dealing with the challenge of configuring a small space for two purposes: as a bedroom and as a studio workspace. I am inspired by great workspaces, and I believe a great one is an aid to creativity and productivity. My main considerations in creating my own are:

1. Function – I estimate that most of my work will be done on my laptop, so that will be a central aspect of this room. I will be doing a little bit of drafting and sewing and handwork, but I hope to do most of this at school. The work that I do bring home will all be separated and stored after use in my closet, where it shares space with my clothes and personal storage. I bought the greatest desk from Ikea (pictures later), which meets my functional needs as a designer well. 

2. Simplicity – In keeping with my desire to keep things simple and live as minimally as possible both for physical and mental clarity, I aim to keep my workspace flow as simple and uncluttered as possible. I left most of my belongings back at my parents’ home, and took only what I needed. Now, I realize that I don’t need much to live off of. 

3. Aesthetics – Designers love beautiful things, it is no surprise. I feel so much more excited to get to work when I am in a space that I feel inspired in. Increasingly, I am drawn more and more to a minimalist aesthetic, bright and airy, with lots of white space. Although this was my original vision, I soon realized that it is hard to do white well on a budget, because keeping everything the same tone requires a reliance on texture and detail to keep from looking like a hospital room. I also love colour, so I decided to use red and purple as accents, which are great colours to add to creative energy. Decor will be kept to a minimum, and its function is to stimulate me visually and add to creative energy rather than dull it. I don’t need as much decoration as I think, because my work in itself is very visual and I always have visual inspiration to use as decoration anyway. Plus, in keeping with my student budget, I prefer to go with the basics now and spend more later on items that will last. 

3. Transitional capabilities – I am not sure how long I will living at this residence. I hope to live here at least until I graduate next April. I will bring my furniture along with me when I do move, and will aim to keep things organized and simple enough to move. In terms of transitional capabilities, I am also referring to the physical manifestation of my life transformation over the next year as I work on my graduation collection, develop further skills in my areas of interest, and graduate and get going in the real world. 

This has been a great way for me to look at how much stuff I have acquired over the years and what it means to me (not much). I have to take some time out to go home and actually purge, like actually. On the path to living more consciously and simply, I am thinking about the way I organize, the way I accumulate, and the way I consume. I am trying to use technology as my aid so that my work remains as much on the computer as possible and I do not have junk to throw away all the time. I use my library borrowing privileges to gain knowledge and information instead of buying books. Heck, I have even dropped all use of sticky-notes and notepads and favour of my personal notebook that I fill up completely with random thoughts, brainstorming, to-do lists and etc. (although, I have started to get the hang of Google Calendar and am loving it! I just started using the offline capability recently and have almost completely transitioned all to-do lists onto my computer). 

Once I have my room all figured out, I will definitely post pictures! Stay tuned.

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