Magazine article Sunset

A Study in Cardboard

Magazine article Sunset

A Study in Cardboard

Article excerpt

What makes a good home office? El Cerrito, California, design consultant and architecture professor Gary Black of the University of California at Berkeley and his graduate students built an ideal home office out of painted cardboard. Their mock-up illustrates some basic design principles.

Create a unified environment that fits the peculiarities of the room. Here, windows become the focal points for work and relaxation. The long counter fits flush with both windowsills.

Enhance the natural light. Black and his students balanced the daylight with warm, wall-washing sconces and halogen spotlights suspended from the ceiling. A task light is on the desk itself. At night, the artificial lighting simulates sunlight.

Provide comfortable relationships between user and machines. The computer is to the left of one window (away from the brightest light); the phone and fax are to the right, within easy reach but away from the work surface. If you plan to use electronic equipment, make sure you have enough outlets for it. Do you need another jack for extra phone/fax lines?

Provide a place to relax. Built-in corner seating beside a wall of bookshelves creates a simple curl-up spot or a convenient conversation area.

Use color, pattern, and texture to establish a visually appealing space. …

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