Whether you prefer the clean minimalism of Steve Jobs and 37 Signals or the creative chaos of Tina Fey and Pixar, there's a lot to learn from the workspaces of the well-known. We present nine such spaces here for inspiration.
If nothing else, former Vice President Al Gore's office helps anyone who needs that extra little push to convince themselves that, yeah, having three monitors is necessary for important work. Why noted environmental speaker Gore would go for a paper sketch pad over whiteboards, we can't quite say. (Original post) [via TIME]
As Jason put it in his original post, Getting Things Done originator David Allen is a man who practices what he preaches, especially when it comes to capturing his thoughts and "Oh yeah" moments. Two of the unique but fitting items on his desk are a label maker and a sand timer. The producers of the clip note that this was shot hastily, at the end of Allen's time commitment for an interview, but the essence of his David Allen Co. office comes through. [YouTube]
He's since left this space, and his title of chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft, but Gates apparently had a mind for working clean while on the Redmond campus. These days, Gates is rocking three monitors and OneNote for his work needs, and we'd love to see that home office setup as well. [via CNN]
When the Microsoft CEO looks straight ahead, there's a single monitor, a (Microsoft) mouse and keyboard, a phone, and a little space to eat lunch. When he looks to the side or reaches for files, it's a whole shelf and wall full of family and friend pics, along with his children's creative endeavors. Easy to forget these folks are human, no? [via The New York Times]
Apple's head honcho had only just begun working on the Macintosh computer and was living the single life when Diana Walker snapped this picture at his apartment. Easy to see where the focus on minimalist functionality comes from. The cutline: "I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that's what I had." [via Diana Walker/The Bigger Picture Gallery]
Another team of minimalist-minded tech thinkers, the team behind Basecamp, Campfire, and web coding language Ruby on Rails doesn't work in empty white rooms, but keeps the decoration lean and the spaces open. [via Signal vs. Noise]
The British author shares a picture of his rather stunning outpost office, in a small building off his garden. He also explains why every worker needs a "shed" of some sort: "I used to have the attic in the house and Isabel, my wife, was meant to have this office, but I didn't think she used it enough so I reclaimed it. It's ideal - you can't hear the children and you can smoke." [via Guardian UK]
"Dilbert's Ultimate Cubicle"
Dilbert creator Scott Adams knows about repressive, uncomfortable working conditions, so he set out with the design firm Ideo to try and change things, if only by example. Garnering feedback from thousands of Dilbert fans, Adams and Ideo designed "Dilbert's Ultimate Cubicle," a modular framework that changes the orientation of a light source to match the time of day, allows for snap-in hammocks and adjustable seat/computer/desk configurations, and even offers up hamster wheels and aquarium modules, if one wants to commune with similarly trapped creatures. Dilbert doesn't actually work here, but if he could let his mind go free, he probably would. [via Ideo]
It was shot for an American Express ad, so the seriously cluttered look ("Too busy to use any other card!", the thinking might have went) might be a bit exaggerated. But we tend to believe that the 30 Rock writer/producer does organize her days and ideas with Post-It Notes—check out the oddly organized grid on her corkboard, and semi-organized notes on the wall further back. A messy mind, perhaps, but then again, she writes a show with about a half-dozen plot lines going at once. (Original post)
If it wasn't rewarding enough to work at what most critics would say is the most dependably creative and rewarding film studio operating today, the Pixar team gets some serious free reign in how they work. Past project memorabilia is ever-present, creative lighting is the norm, dorms have been turned into tiny 1950's-style houses, and there's lots and lots of wide-open space around the campus. In case they get too distanced from what really earns their paychecks, though, the server racks are right around the corner for a quick reminder. [via Office Snapshots]
Got a pic or profile of a famous workspace to share? Link and discuss in the comments.