With so many different creative minds under one roof, we all organize our work in different ways. I spoke with Ben Garbow, one of Payette’s designers about his work space. At Payette we have an open plan office with similar table/desk setups for everyone (including our Principals!). This setup facilitates communication, collaboration and a culture of learning. We have the ability to make our workstations mobile – moving to a new station is seamless with rolling filing cabinets (many equipped with cushion tops to make a quick stool) and the same resources are available at each station.
Ben works across multiple departments as he is currently working the new STEM Building for the University of Connecticut and he also works with our communication and marketing group and made major contributions to the redesign of payette.com.
When you approach Ben’s desk, you can’t help but notice a large model of the new STEM building which is used for exploring the research neighborhoods. The two-story neighborhoods will feature social and collaborative spaces for the researchers within the building and the whole University community. I learned from Ben, that the UConn design team, who all sit in the same area, have impromptu design meetings as individuals are working on specific tasks. Huddling around one computer screen is more often than not when the key design ideas are formed.
In his work with our marketing and communications group, Ben is developing a format to illustrate 165 of our projects floor plans to be visually appealing and consistent stylistically. His desk is littered with floors plans as he brainstorms different layouts.
On the flip side, the left side of Ben’s desk is neatly organized and stacked with books, drawing utensils and other artifacts. In an office that focuses on sustainability both in our projects and operations, it’s not surprising to see model stand used for a previous project pursuit repurposed into a bookshelf on his desk. Ben likes to keep books in sight to motivate and remind him to read books in his downtime. Right now he is reading Record of a Spaceborn Few, a book exploring Earth centuries after humans left.
Other things you will always find on Ben’s desk is headphones, a car made from a spark plug from a recent trip to Idaho and a water bottle.
What’s on your desk? Where do you find inspiration in the workplace?
What’s on your Desk: Building Science Group
What’s on your Desk: Visualization Team
What’s on your Desk: Ben Bruce
What’s on Your Desk: Miep Keller
What’s on Your Desk: Planning Group