I believe that environment plays a big part in productivity. The room in which I do most of my writing has windows on two sides. I have two options for sitting, I can spread out on a couch with a lap desk, or I can sit at my proper corner desk. When Craig works he needs noise, he is always listening to podcasts or music. That is the environment that works best for him. I find that distracting, I can’t divide my focus that way. Sometimes I feel I need to change my environment. I go upstairs (the remote office), I go to the Tim Hortons around the corner. And whether it’s a placebo effect or not, that change helps. It shakes up my brain and then I’m able to carry on, business as usual. My environment is key to my productivity and ultimately my creativity.
The classroom environment has been practically the same for over a hundred years. Rows of desks, teacher at the front. I think that’s what I love about going into drama classrooms – they are the one class that is set up differently. There is some attention paid to the environment that reflects the work that has to happen. The walls may be black. There may be a carpet. There may be no desks at all. Some drama classes are lucky enough to happen in an actual theatre. I wonder how that affects students. Do they miss the rows of desks? Do they find it freeing? Unsettling? Do they like the change of environment in their day?
Over at Top Management Degrees (I know the title of this site is purposeful but goodness) there is a rather joyful post on office environments that have slides built into the architecture. That’s right, playground slides. Just looking at them gives me a little lift. I think it would be pretty awesome, and help my brain quite a bit, to slide every day. Hmmmm can we add one onto the house?
How would you redesign the typical high school classroom into the ideal environment for productivity? What would happen if students went down a slide every day?