Wednesday, September 12, 2007

office decor

I've been pondering office space quite a bit of late (OK, insert obligatory television show joke, I'll wait.) (Done?)

My office would be best described as sparse. I've put up a few posters. Hey, I'm a woman, I reserve the right to love Monet's water lillies. They liven things up a bit, but the office is still pretty sterile. My office-mate took a different approach. Her desk and "general area" are full of pictures of her kids, her dog, her husband, etc. It makes the place look lived in, but I'm not sure how much personal information I want to share in this fashion.

I got to thinking today about decor - one prof has an office so cluttered he can't use it. There's space for two people and not much more - and I do think that he does it on purpose, as part of his image, self-presentation, etc. Another one hung up a 1960s psychadelic bedspread on the wall, but there's not much else in there except his computer and (weather permitting) a jacket.


John B. said...

Most professors that I remember had cluttered offices stacked high with paper and books (books are so old fashioned now). Some had pictures of family but most were old spinsters or codgers that even their mothers had problems loving.

Personal pics would be OK...don't be so paranoid about your students, I think they assume yuou have a life outside of the classroom.

Might I suggest a Brett Favre or Sports Illustrated swimsuit poster to liven up the office...they made me take mine down at work. :)

Drewster said...

I reccommend a Grateful Dead poster. Students will be amazed that anyone as old and out of touch as a professor would have any clue who such a "cool" band is/was.

itsmecissy said...

If you display a few more personal items, I think your students will perceive that you want them to feel comfortable in your office. Feeling comfortable may encourage them to seek academic assistance and to be more enthusiastic about their academic discipline.

In my office (academic library) I have photos of my cats, my hubby, and an actual painting I did in college (I was an art major). I also have some fave books, a decorative clock, and a bouquet of silk flowers. A few carefully chosen things can make you seem more approachable, of course, you have to balance this with how much you want people to know about you.

The other thing I have is a candy dish. It's amazing how something so simple can really lure people in, but, if you want people in and out, don't put food on your desk.

Bottom line: imagine you’re someone else walking into your office and see what you like and what you don't. Have fun!!!