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Field Notes

Field Notes

Interior design associate professor Lynn Chalmers
For her PhD, interior design associate professor Lynn Chalmers researched items workers keep at their desks—from the everyday to the eclectic. We invited her to turn the analysis inward, revealing her own workspace.

No. 1 Gifts from former students. “These boxes are beautiful objects, and they speak to the significance of having made an impact on students’ lives. I want students to understand it’s a changing world we live in.”

No. 2 A student model brought to life in the workspace of a Winnipeg production company. “The idea was: instead of building walls around a space, create this wall that was actually the site of action in the office, with work surfaces and storage elements.”

No. 3 Bound works of former students. “They speak to what I value.”

No. 4 A pre-digital tool of the trade, used to brush away pencil dust from hand-drawn sketches. “These days everything is done on the computer, but you hang on to things, don’t you?”

No. 5 A photo card (showing a cluttered workspace) used to promote a lecture she did in Scotland. “My PhD revealed zones of significance. Objects close to the computer screen were highly significant—either personal or even a cherished office supply—and if on the periphery, were to do with the company and recognition of its employees. In between, they were meant to trigger conversations.”

No. 6 Swatches from a student project. “I like the earthiness, the richness.”

No. 7 A postcard from her home country, Australia. “They’re kookaburras. They really do laugh, and they make you laugh.”

No. 8 An old photo of her son and daughter. “We should encourage people to personalize their desk because this is a vehicle for socialization and collaboration.”

No. 9 “A medallion of wisdom and experience” she gave herself. “Design is very much a profession of youth. But I remind myself: Experience is important.”

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