I recently subscribed to a blog called This Ain't No Disco, which is a site that chronicles the various working spaces of design studios around the globe. It is really interesting to me, cause that's what I do and what I want to do, but at the same time totally annoying and somewhat depressing.
As you may note from this picture, a shot from Farenheit212 studios in New York, it's all white. That's a theme amongst the studios on the site. White white white. That's the designers way, so whatever, but it's so sterile to work in such a condition! I know I would feel totally restricted in such an enviroment- it makes me feel scared and inadequate and as though I ought to wear all black, a colour I realised yesterday that I truly hate to wear despite it being like the designer standard. Black and white. blah blah.
I once looked at the website of a studio called Mother, who once gave a lecture at my university and I fell in love with. Their website damn near broke my heart. It has some 3d walk-around-the-studio thing, revealing the place to be some sort of human parking lot made of concrete, where countless people on Mac Book Pros sit and stare at the blank walls. It looked so fucking depressing!! There seemed to be just no humanity there. It was vile.
My perfect studio would have a lot of space and be calm and clean and all, but it would have spaces to put things up! Each person would have their own space they could do with as they pleased, not a find-a-place-to-sit-and-plug-in-your-laptop. There would be a kitchen and it would be colourful, though maybe within the same style or somesuch. Maybe when a new designer came they would be given their own mug to personalise, I don't know. It would look like a place that people, human beings, spend time in. Not some design abbatoir!
Of course, each of the places on This Ain't No Disco do submit their own pictures, and they are hardly likely to go posting their messy kitchen or fugly things someone has up in their area. And a kitchen full of white things does LOOK nicer than one full of random mugs from whereverland.
I guess it comes down to it seeming like style over function and liveability, which in my opinion is essentially bad design.
But then again, lots of designers can be super minimalist (freaks, in my opinion) who live in the sort of cube-houses you see on Grand Designs where not a single mote of dust is out of place, and hell, they do good design from these places, so it must not affect them too much.
(image screenshot from This Ain't No Disco.)