Friday, 23 September 2016

Till desk do us part

This blog first appeared on the WCO website on 21st September.

“Desk: A piece of furniture with a flat or sloping surface and typically with drawers, at which one can read, write, or do other work”.

Is the traditional office desk obsolete? The desk, the workstation, that slab of “wood” that the majority of office workers sit at is getting smaller. Gone are the days of the 1800 x 1800 mm corner core, and my 2 m wide and 1 m deep bench desk at an architect’s practice; the 1600 mm wide homogenous bench has become a 1400 mm and recently I worked with an NHS Trust where the standard workstation was a mere 1200 mm but the facilities team were actually rolling out 1 m “back to school” style desks. So by logic and statistical extrapolation alone the traditional office desk is disappearing. Add to the mix the increasing use of tablets, laser keyboards, dictation software like Dragon and virtual reality goggles and it’s not too difficult to imagine a world without people gathering to sit in rows at a flat surface.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Two days in Delhi

My sixth and final conference speaking engagement was The Smart Green Summit in Delhi. I have to say I was more than a tad apprehensive about speaking on acoustics in India. What could I possibly tell Indians about overcoming noise (pollution)? Delhi was reported by India Today (2012) to have a noise level some 16 times higher than the prescribed limit set by the WHO. So I made few comparisons to outdoor noise levels in London and then moved swiftly on to indoor acoustics.