World's Best Kindergarten + My Home Office

I recently watched a TEDtalk (is anyone else addicted to these?) on the best kindergarten in the world.  While I haven't done a comparative analysis of kindergartens around the globe, this one seems pretty cool.  Takaharu Tezuka (the architect) has found some original and creative solutions to designing this kind of space - incidentally I also love his philosophy on parenting and children.

As a parent of children about this age, I thought wouldn't it be amazing for my kids to experience something like this.  They haven't reached the uninspired rows of carbon-copied desks yet but it's only another year away for my daughter.

The best kindergarten in the world has trees growing through the classroom.  The roof is part of the playground.  Walls that divide one classroom from the next are made of building blocks.  Thanks to the natural curiosity of children they are therefore mostly never walls.

Everything is designed around exploration.

It encourages curiosity, discovery and movement.

There are no boundaries between inside and outside most of the year.  I should mention it's in Tokyo - that wouldn't work here in Canada.  Although indoor snowmen would be fun, the frostbite would not.  We all want to experience the Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) in Quebec for a night or two but an Ice School...no thanks.

Then I got thinking how cool it would be to have an office like this kindergarten.

I've worked in communal office settings where at least one person is always willing to chat (er bitch) and distract you from working.  And I've worked in converted broom closets (I kid you not).

Now I have the luxury of working from home.

Yes, I've converted a room in my basement into an office complete with desk, bookcase and all the necessary accoutrements.  I don't have much of a view because - basement.  So I put up my favourite painting (Cerulean Waters by Sydney Edmunds) + a chandelier over my desk (never a headache - inducing fluorescent light bulb in my workspace again!) It's a great space to go to when I have to really concentrate and focus.

But one of the great perks of writing from home is no one says I HAVE to write there.  I can write in any room I please.

During the regrettably short Canadian summer I'm determined to write outside as much as possible - bug spray and sunscreen right next to my tea.  Once I figure out how to overcome the glare of the sun on my screen I'll be set.

After watching that video, I feel like I should have a writing tree...or hammock maybe?

I might not be able to attend the coolest kindergarten on the planet.  But I think it's high time I remembered I have a LOT more control over my work environment - more now than ever before.

I sat at a desk for years both in and out of school but now I can work in the middle of the yard if I want.  And with desks like this it just got so much easier.  I worked 9 - 5 ish (it was always longer) for years and now I'm making a schedule around my life for the first time.

This video reminds me I can shape my business and work environment any way I like.  Whatever stokes my creativity.  Whatever promotes my productivity.  Whatever helps me produce my best work.  Because as terrifying and difficult as it is to be the boss sometimes it can also be pretty damn cool.


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