February 12, 2011

"Workspaces of Highly Creative People."

I'll take Martin Amis's — or, actually, I prefer my own! — but click backward and forward to see some of the others. I love pictures like this.

46 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Messier the better! I loved Tina Fey's room especially.

I'll bet Palin's is a LOT neater.

chuck said...

Al Gore is a highly creative person? Is that some kind of insult?

rhhardin said...

Mine (2005).

ricpic said...

Everybody makes a mess, each in his own way.
How rare the mess that births a fucking thing to say.

Deb said...

"Al Gore is a highly creative person? Is that some kind of insult?"
He created the internet. And that global warming thing.

wv: hunks. Al is not one.

sydney said...

Do you think Woody Allen really works at that desk? way too neat. and what's with all the insect decor?

ricpic said...

I second sydney. The Woody Allen space shouts interior decorator, not lived in.

Sixty Grit said...

Al Gore is suckin' down more power with that high tech douche parlor than a third world nation.

I liked Roald Dahl's place - quirky yet peculiar.

WV: auttat - what you get on your assberger.

edutcher said...

I don't know if it's a good thing mine looks a lot like Einstein's. Of course, most of that paper was caught in a random stop in the time-space continuum.

In my case, it's taken root.

E.M. Davis said...

Roald Dahl worked in a shed.

Maybe the one pictured is his 'second office' or something.

DADvocate said...

Why is it that creativity is so often measured by financial success? History is strewn with creative people who never achieved financial success. van Gogh and Edgar Allen Poe come to mind easily.

Having Gore on the list shows that "rich and famous" was more of a criteria than creativity. Gore's creativity consists of perpetuating lies.

What the pictures show more than anything is that these rich, famous people are just like the rest of us in many ways and, probably, no more creative.

E.M. Davis said...

I guess you have to be pretty creative to convince practically an entire generation that the earth is dying at that we are at fault.

Freeman Hunt said...

When my husband is writing, his is like Self's, but it's tiny strips of white paper instead of Post-its.

Mine looks like Einstein's all the time. Not because I'm solving the mysteries of the universe like he was, but because I tend to stack papers.

I have an Olivetti manual typewriter, but it's up on a shelf because it takes enough force that it hurts my wrists. Sometimes I let the kids play with it. I should just sell it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, I imagine that my stacked papers are much more boring than Einstein's as most of mine are things I need to file and haven't. That's why his workspace is in a photo montage, and mine is not.

bgates said...

Why is it that creativity is so often measured by financial success?

This is not exactly the underpants gnomes.

Step 1: Create goods or services
Step 2: Trade them for money
Step 3: Profit!

knox said...

I love pictures like this.

Me too! I don't take a tremendous amount of photos, but I've photographed my workspace several times.

My weakness is that I can't sit down to work unless everything around me is (fairly) orderly. If I feel like I'm surrounded by "chaos," I can't concentrate.

knox said...

Woody Allen's looks like a woman's space.

Alex said...

I'd like to see Jonathan Ives' workspace. He's probably the most creative person on the planet right now.

DADvocate said...

Step 1: Create goods or services
Step 2: Trade them for money
Step 3: Profit!


This is a measure of creativity how?

Lots of people are manufacturing/selling goods and services with little creativity and making lots of money. Nothing wrong with that. It's just not creative.

Palladian said...

(One of) mine, right now.

k*thy said...

Mine looks nothing like these, but I'm not expected to be creative (anymore). This explains a lot.

I third Sydney.

wv: chesi. The power of cheese. Yeah.

Palladian said...

Here are a couple more of my workspaces: studio corner, 2008, perfume lab, 2008.

bgates said...

This is a measure of creativity how?

Step 3: Profit! will give you a number of some kind. It's easier to measure things that can be quantified.

The size of the number in step 3 will have a relationship to the amount of creativity in step 1: Create goods or services.

It's just not creative.

Yes, actually, creating things is creative. That's what creative means.

Harry said...

Did you mention Martin Amis because, though he's listed, they don't actually show his desk? Or am I missing something?

Harry said...

Al Gore's workspace looks like one favored by a megalomaniac who thinks he's sitting at the nerve center of the world.

Henry said...

My space is more Marc Johns than anyone else's. If I was to be expansive I'd include my backpack with the laptop and the scrap paper. There was a point when I gave up the studio and the office in favor of complete portability. To be fair, in my line of work (writing, programming, some drawing), that's easier than in others. To be even more fair, I must admit that the wireless printer/scanner is in my wife's workspace.

Freeman Hunt said...

You would expect Palladian to have beautiful workspaces, and he does!

Alex Ignatiev said...

Nice, but I preferred this:

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desk-Jill-Krementz/dp/0679450149

MamaM said...

I'm wondering how closely the current 2011 version of rh's workspace compares to the one pictured from 2005?

His recent portrait of Vicki, in her space, entitled "Woman in a Wicker Chair is also singularly unique.

peter hoh said...

Like Harry, I'm not seeing anything of Martin Amis in the article.

William said...

In this, as in so many other areas, I was struck by my extraordinary resemblance to Einstein. Coincidence or transfer of psychic energy? I will leave posterity to decide.

Melvin said...

Al gore is an horrific ass-wipe.

Palladian said...

"Like Harry, I'm not seeing anything of Martin Amis in the article."

It was there, but it seems they've changed the format of the entire article and, for some reason, removed Mr Amis' desk.

Here's the picture of Amis' desk that was posted.

Robert Cook said...

"I guess you have to be pretty creative to convince practically an entire generation that the earth is dying at that we are at fault."

Umm...no one says the earth is dying or that "we are at fault."

What is happening is climate change, or global warming as it was more commonly termed. It is a normal part of the earth's cyclical climatic changes over time.

What is proposed to be humankind's involvement is not that we're "causing" the climate change but that our activities are helping exacerbate and accelerate this natural cycle such that it will take place sooner than it otherwise might.

Of course, one could counter that all activity on earth has always contributed to the various climate shifts over time, and so humanity's activity is just part of this natural process. This doesn't absolve humankind, however, in that we are conscious and can anticipate the results of our actions and can alter our actions to bring about desired results or avoid undesired results. That we're doing nothing to mitigate the rapid changes approaching us just tells us that "people is the animal that shits where it eats." (Of course, we knew this all the time anyway.)

In any case, the earth is not dying. What may be dying is an environment that will sustain human life or human societies as presently configured. The changes that are coming may kill us off, or, more likely, bring about wrenching reduction in our numbers on the earth, and dramatic alterations in our way of life. Many other species of life will also die off...to be replaced by new life forms adapted to the new climate.

That we may die off or face extreme changes in life and society as we know it is a tragedy...to us. To the universe, to geological time and history, our eventual extinction is nothing. The earth will abide.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, and I liked Milton Glaser's workspace, and Martin Amis's. Hated Woody Allen's old lady workspace. No wonder he hasn't made a movie of interest in decades.

Shanna said...

This thread makes me want to buy a new desk that I can actually work on.

Famous Original Mike said...

The cubicle that I work in is a soul crushing hellhole and my apartment isn't big enough for a proper workspace?

Just venting and wondering whether it's worth it to live in New York...

virgil xenophon said...

An interesting project would be to mosey up & down any university library carrel-space past rows & rows of grad students/researchers and photograph each for a photo-montage. Makes pack-rats and Einstein look like "clean-desk" types. Tulane's Howard-Tilton has 2 floors of really neat built-in enclosed ones like mini offices complete w. built-in 2-drawer file cabinets, adj. lights, multiple shelves, etc. I was lucky enough to get one on the exterior side, so had a little vert. floor to ceiling slit of a window to boot...

E.M. Davis said...

Umm...no one says the earth is dying or that "we are at fault."

Bullshit.

Henry said...

The most important thing isn't the desk it's the window.

That is one more reason I prefer the laptop and scrap paper approach. I can go where the good light is.

It is also, I suspect, why Althouse prefers Amis's space.

knox said...

The cubicle that I work in is a soul crushing hellhole

You've got to bring in your own stuff. Plants and lamps (with incandescent bulbs) help more than anything else. Wallpaper it, if you have to. Don't settle for the "Office Space" depressing cube!

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

Walt Disney's office.

Henry said...

@Robert Cook -- In a discussion I was having with some friends about Malthusian projections (with myself in the negative) I considered pointing out that what you just did -- that the world really doesn't care. The world doesn't care about global warming, or rain forests, or extinction.

I figured that would come across as sufficiently ruthless as to be unpersuasive.

The moral theater of environmentalism derives from animism and revels in the pathetic fallacy. Without anthropomorphism, environmentalist arguments quickly descend into the utilitarian. This is a far harder space for them to win.

bagoh20 said...

They all seem perfectly normal as you would find among the average person who uses a workspace. I don't think it tells you much, although you would expect it to. You could not just look at the space and tell something deep about the owner. What is written on the slips of paper in and out of the trash would be interesting.

A year ago my best friend died suddenly at 46. I cleaned up his apartment and his desk at work afterward. Such a thing is surprisingly bland and not as insightful as one would think. Although he was extremely eccentric and unique, to a stranger what was there to see would tell them little of the man. I was repeatedly struck by that thought as I was doing it. I did find some poetry and writing that is a special window to a person's, mind unlike anything else.

Alex said...

The creativity is in the mind, not the workspace.