I’ve just been hiking in the wide open spaces of the Scottish Highlands, where I was turning my head to see the full extent of the sunset instead of my computer screen, and where the only traffic was four-legged (and sometimes had antlers). 

So today I’m feeling acutely aware of the proximity of the walls and ceiling around me: less than two metres in any direction.

I’m boxed in on all sides.

Most of us live and work in boxes of various sizes. There’s no other option, because it’s how we’ve built our world. Boxes stacked upon boxes.

But humans don’t respond well to harsh geometry. We prefer curves:</p>

You haven’t any straight lines in your body. Why should we have straight lines in our architecture? You’d be surprised when you go into a room that has no straight line – how marvellous it is that you can feel the walls talking back to you, as it were.
— Philip Johnson

One of the designers who I share my studio space always eats at his desk. We’ve been working together for over a year now and he still hasn’t had lunch in the park with me.  (And I’m sure that I’m not that bad company…) He says he “doesn’t have time” but it’s less than five minutes walk away.

I don’t always make time for lunch either, but I know that on the days when I do leave my desk to eat, I’m more productive when I get back.

When I sit with food beside me at my computer and try to multi-task, I actually get less done. If you’ve ever tried to eat an apple whilst using a mouse and keyboard, you’ll know how farcical the situation can become).

When you stay inside the safety of your box, it’s a false economy.

Everything is to hand.

Life feels safer, more convenient, more predictable.

But by staying inside your box you’re not really saving time or energy.

Don’t get stuck indoors.

You don’t have to go hiking in Scotland to expand your horizons (you should though, if you haven’t been before).

Walk to work once or twice a week, take your lunch somewhere with a splash of green, or just stick your head out of the window for a minute and look up at the great big blue sky. 


Posted to life in 2014.

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