How the needs of monks and empire builders helped mold the modern-day office
The coronavirus pandemic has forced most people to create an office space of their own – whether by devoting a room in their homes for work, sitting socially distanced in common areas, or just creating a “Zoom worthy” corner in a bedroom. As a scholar who researches and designs learning and workspaces, Iowa State University assistant professor of interior design Nicole Kay Peterson is aware how the modern-day workplace was shaped over several centuries. But few people may know that the origins of the office can be found in the monasteries of medieval Europe. While what the office of the future will look like is still unknown, Peterson believes we can look back at how necessity molded office space, and view the past in conjunction with the same necessity helping to carve out workspaces today.