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Workplaces Revealed

Workplaces Revealed: Joel Goodman, Trinity International University

Where you work really does affect your quality of product and mental health.

view of two desks with computer monitor, shelves, artwork

When I started at Trinity International University, my office was a windowless room inside of a windowless room with carpet that would soak up outside moisture… it literally smelled like a gas station restroom until I had the carpet pulled out. I was set up with the Design team which had worked out of a cinder block office with no natural light for around 20 years. But in May, we moved out of ‘The Bunker’ into a brand new, open design studio. With a new Graphic Design BA on its way this Fall, our design director had a vision for an open studio that allows students to come in, see what we’re working on and learn from real professionals.

computer desk
27" iMac and a minimal workspace at standing height. I have two desks... but I don't really use the sit-down one.
wide view of office space
Our open design studio houses the Graphic Design and Web team. Attached are enclosed offices for the rest of Communications & Marketing.
green toy robot
My robot! I'm also an Anglophile, so I tend to decorate my spaces in all things British.


For me that meant I got to request a standing desk. So now, I do 80% of my work standing up, I have a huge window, and get to work in a truly creative space. The first week we were here I had people telling me I seemed happier. I guess what de Botton says in The Architecture of Happiness is true:

Keep Calm and Carry On poster
A much needed reminder. Love the history behind this never-released propaganda poster. This is the second school I've worked at and the message still rings true to me. (Also, a mini RC MINI Cooper)

We may need to have made an indelible mark on our lives, to have married the wrong person, pursued an unfulfilling career into middle age, or lost a loved one before architecture can begin to have any perceptible impact on us, for when we speak of being ‘moved’ by a building, we allude to a bitter-sweet feeling of contrast between the noble qualities written into a structure and the sadder wider reality within which we know them to exist. A lump rises in our throat at the sight of beauty from an implicit knowledge that the happiness it hints at is the exception (p. 22).

Where you work really does affect your quality of product and mental health.

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By Joel Goodman

Joel Goodman is a web designer and developer interested in participatory culture and media. During daylight hours he works for Trinity International University north of Chicago as the web marketing manager. In his own time he build websites for Dept. 3, a full service design studio out of Los Angeles. He is currently working toward a Master of Art in Media Studies at The New School.