Joel Spolsky has an
his company's new office. Wow. Amazing stuff, and some really
good ideas—I'll have to think about trying the “long, narrow
desk” concept in my incredibly cramped (due to stacks of computers
that don't really belong here) office.
And check the Christopher
Alexander reference near the bottom. That's my kind of design.
I hadn't really followed the link to the “Light on Two Sides of Every
Room” pattern, but it turns out to be a site with most of A Pattern
Language available online. I finally gave up and bought
the book, myself, but this website is a pretty nice way to get a taste
of the concept. (The book itself is a nice sensual experience on its
own—published by Oxford University Press in an endearingly small
form factor, with a strangely flexible “hard” cover and clunky
Of course, A
Pattern Language is available online elsewhere, as well, at
the official site.
Unfortunately, the site is one of the clunkiest I've encountered, and,
while it's improved a bit recently, it's still kind of crude and
difficult to move around in. (In particular, it has adopted the
annoying for people who like to open almost every link in a new tab or
I've probably droned on about Christopher Alexander in the past, but I
think that the approach to building described in A Pattern
Language is an excellent one, and one it's a shame our society
The idea of starting with a smaller house and hanging onto some money
for renovations, expansions, and general tinkering hasn't caught on.
These days it seems to be either about buying the biggest house you
can afford (whether you need all that space or not), in anticipation
of “moving up” in the future with the proceeds from selling it in an
even higher real estate market, or finally making it and building your
“dream home”, with every idea set in (often literally) stone—a
huge mansion with structured wiring, talking closets, and
refrigerators with IP