Talk About It
From the Desk of an Aspiring Architect: Eduardo Castaneda, Assoc. AIA
Eduardo Castaneda, Assoc. AIA, asks all of us an important question while we are all working from home and facing a new normal in this week's "From the Desk of an Aspiring Architect."
As individuals share photos of their workspaces, it's clear that some take great pride in optimizing their environment. How can you make your workspace the most ideal working experience possible? I urge all architects and designers to do what we do best: face the future with optimism and creativity, and adapt to your present context so that when the pandemic passes, we will emerge ready to design a better future.
What is your favorite/most meaningful object at your workspace?
My “coworkers” at home keep it interesting and entertaining everyday! You can catch one of them sleeping on the job in my workspace photo.
What’s your biggest concern about working remotely?
After what we have witnessed in this crisis, my biggest concern would be that people will ignore the problems. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem because we just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Well, the treadmill we’ve been on for decades just stopped. What happened is inexplicably incredible. It is profound and it is a chance to see ourselves, to take a deep breath, ignore the thunderous noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare opportunity. We are still good people and we care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive social media post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, and in every PPE made by the community. And as good people, we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in 5, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get.
Have a favorite Spotify playlist for work?
How are you staying active?
If you are like me, there is always something to be done for home improvements. Home projects never end and this is the time to take advantage of that DIY project that you have been putting on hold. I’m finally putting the final touches to my workshop shed and organizing it. Several projects coming up after the workshop is up and running.
Any tips for maintaining balance and separating work from home-life?
Working from home comes with its benefits and challenges, one of which is maintaining balance throughout our day. How might we do that? Ensure we don't overeat, become physically stagnant, or go stir-crazy? Much can be said, but here are a few tips to hopefully contribute to well balanced mind and body.
TIP #1: Establish a dedicated work area: Take the time to set up a dedicated home office and personalize it.
TIP #2: Switch off: Discipline is important when working from home. While it is vital to maintain productivity levels during your core work hours, it is equally important to detach from work when needed.
TIP #3: Stay connected and be a calming influence: It is only natural for people to become worried or anxious during a time of such unrest. The central goal of this tip is to highlight how your time away from the office can be a major positive opportunity, allowing you to adopt new skills, habits, and knowledge. When keeping in touch with friends and family, do so in the same spirit of positivity and kindness.