‘A Pattern Language’ by Christopher Alexander is a collection of patterns found in well-designed living spaces. I applied many of these patterns to my studio design.
Pattern #200 Open Shelves
The Problem – ‘Cupboards that are too deep waste valuable space, and it always seems that you want what is behind something else’.
The Solution – ‘Cover the walls with narrow shelves of varying depth but always shallow enough so that things can be placed on them one deep – nothing hiding behind anything else.’
I measured the depth of some of the books and binders I wanted to have in the studio and used that measurement for the depth of the shelves in this bookcase. Likewise in the rest of the studio the shelves depths and the varying spaces between them match the sizes of the articles stored on them. Things are stored only one item deep, mostly.
Pattern #201 Waist-high Shelf
Problem – ‘In every house and every workplace there is a daily “traffic” of objects which are handled most. Unless such things are immediately at hand, the flow of life is awkward, full of mistakes; things are forgotten, misplaced.’
Solution – ‘Build waist-high shelves around at least part of the main rooms where people live and work. Make them long, 9 to 15 inches deep, with shelves or cupboard underneath. Interrupt the shelf for seats, windows or doors.’
The 12″ top of the bookshelf doubles as the needed waist-high shelf where stuff gets put. It also serves as the protective back for the Drawing Centre. Papers won’t blow off the desk when the front door is opened.
This is where I put the cork mat I made from leftover floor tiles that didn’t work on the cutting table. The area is big enough to hold a portable sloped drawing board that I use when doing design work.
Attached to the Drawing Centre is the Desk Centre and both share the one chair. Underneath there are 2 basket stacks on wheels stored in otherwise unused space. Art materials are stored here and easily accessed from either work area.
Each morning after I enter the studio, I start work here with some drawing practice and writing in a journal. These 2 activities slow me down and make me focus on what I plan to do that day. I end a studio session here too. I write in the journal and plan what I will do next day.
Whenever I need extra horizontal workspace I can easily clear off these few things and temporarily free up a large area.The simple L-shaped design gives a lot of flexibility in how the space can be used.