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As part of a three-part series entitled HOME+WORK, Scott Jarson ponders life without an office and garnered input from three top design leaders to share their experiences and wisdom. Enjoy!
Part One: There will come a time, self-imposed or peer-pressure mandated, that we will begin to return to our workplaces in Arizona. Many have already done so, the pull of the routine is strong. With our collective work situation changed and changing, we may very well end up back in semi-isolation once again. These experiences redefined the way we work, and as we ponder a future return, we just may draw new conclusions from our recent experiences.
However, this natural longing to return to routine, and the communal disruption to our engrained life-patterns had me thinking about what others have experienced, how they are coping, what changes to their routine might have been made, and where they think our future lay in regards to the concepts of home, and office, and the balance between life and work.
To learn more I reached out to architects and designers whose work and friendships I respect, each of which keep their studios in diverse and creative settings. I posited the same set of questions to each of them:
-What are you enjoying most about the space you are working in?
-How have you made things work under the current circumstances?
-Based on your recent time spent there, are there any changes you’re dying to make to your current design?
-With your recent experiences, how do you think this will affect the future advice and design concepts you’d want to share with clients?
-Do you feel that the pandemic experience in America may affect the future of urban design in the U.S. and even influence a return to suburbia?
I wanted to know how this time may have affected their approach, and how they think the future of design may be impacted as a result of recent experiences.
Our friends Eddie Jones, Luis Ibarra and Brent Kendle offered generous, interesting and heartfelt responses. We begin with our friend Eddie Jones FAIA in Part One of this blog. Part Two will feature architectural designer Luis Ibarra, and we will wrap-up in Part Three with architect Brent Kendle. I think you’ll find their insights interesting, I know I did.
SJ: Eddie, We’ve all been spending more time in our homes and perhaps isolated in office/studios. What are you enjoying most about the space you are working in?
EJ: Jones Studio is on its 3rd year in our new Studio building. Most everyone works from home until June. We are all anxious to get back to our one big happy family in Studio. We miss the direct and more efficient collaboration. I work and live in beautiful rooms surrounded by nature.
I never not notice my good fortune. The Studio has amber tinted glass surrounding our roof top deck and each morning the low eastern sun casts a beautiful golden shadow, curb to curb, directly in front of our building. I stop my glass topped Tesla in the shadow before turning into my tree lined DG parking area just to “bath in the golden light”. That’s how I begin my day!
SJ: How have you made things work under the current circumstances?
EJ: At 70, I have happily and proudly become quite proficient with my little laptop communicator.
SJ: Based on your recent time spent there, are there any changes you’re dying (perhaps this was a very bad choice of words on my part! -SJ) to make to your current design?
EJ: Can’t be dying when you are reborn every day in architecture and a garden!
SJ: With your recent experiences, how do you think this will affect the future advice and design concepts you’d want to share with clients?
EJ: My young partner, Brian Farling, said it best the first week into the stay at home quarantine. During one of our many video conference meetings I complimented him on his home space backdrop…wall lined with books, soft north daylight (I have been there many times). He said, “I am so glad I designed my house so I did not have to stay home in crap!” Scott, did you notice the mediocrity back dropping 99.9% of the TV news casters, late night talk show hosts and comedians? Therefore, my design advice will include something about a personal image projecting a personally authentic space.
SJ: Do you feel that the pandemic experience in America may affect the future of urban design in the U.S. and even influence a return to suburbia?
EJ: Urban lifestyles give more than they take. Suburbia just takes. It will all work out for the better.
A huge thanks to Eddie Jones of Jones Studio in Tempe for joining us in Part One of this blog. Stay tuned for parts two and three featuring architectural designer Luis Ibarra and architect Brent Kendle.
To Be Continued…