Desk Design – A summer project
Lowe’s has launched its Summer Home Remodel ad campaign, which has us thinking about ways to redesign a study space that will really provide a great area to study and focus for students. A few things came to mind as we were planning, first and foremost, the space must fit the student. Since there are different types of studiers, we can break down the categories to help decide what space works best for your family.
First, we have our external studiers who need movement and activity in order to work. Setting up a study space in the kitchen or living room is an important feature for families whose children share rooms or share a computer. There needs to be a common workspace with designated items that are communal. If the workspace lands in the “territory” of one sibling, it can be an invasion of privacy if another sibling needs to use the space or (WORSE) mom needs to come in and look over the work. The best spot for this workspace is out of the main thoroughfare, but still close enough to activity that a student can not feel completely isolated. At the end of each day, this space should be tidied and left relatively neat for the next user. It also helps to have a ready supply of basic office supplies within reach. The temptation to hunt for a “lost” stapler is a great procrastination tool for students. The next great procrastination is cleaning up the workspace: “Mom, I can’t work in this pigsty!” It is important to keep the workspace neat as an ongoing project.
For students who need a quieter workspace, a desk or table in their own room will help them focus and put aside external distractions. Keep the area relatively free of knick-knacks. Hanging posters and pictures will better use the space since there should be space for a “drop zone” where students leave their work before running to the kitchen for a snack. A well-lighted space with quiet music will help keep students from dozing off or getting distracted by other noises around the house.
A few general rules for both study spaces remain the same:
– Ergonomics rule over beauty! Get a desk chair that provides lumbar support and will grow with students.
– Light the study space and back light the computer screen.
– Turn off the TV, the IM, the phone. If students MUST contact their friends to check in on something, WAIT until a designated 15 minute break.
-Keep supplies stocked, including a reference encyclopedia (wikipedia does NOT count) and a softcover dictionary.
– Timer. That’s right. Set a timer to help keep disciplined with study periods. If this Math assignment should only take 30 minutes, set the timer for 30 and get it done by then.
-Personalize it! Paint the desk teal, put up pictures, hang textiles from the wall. It is important that students feel comfortable and at home in their space, they needn’t feel that they are sitting at a post-modernist dwell workstation.