Lately, writable surfaces are emerging from their usual home in the conference room, and showing in up in places such as offices, break rooms, meeting areas, even the reception area. “Writable surfaces” today are not your typical white board. They consist of entire walls dedicated to doodling with dry erase and white board paint as well as glass that can turn any flat surface into an immediate larger than life notebook.
Everett Katigback, a communication designer at Facebook says “the hand is the easiest way to get something down.” It should come as no surprise that most of the walls within Facebook offices around the country are finished with dry erase paint or glass panels allowing the employees an area for their doodles, thoughts, ideas, mathematical equations and even sketches of cats.
Benefits of visual note taking are said to include increased engagement, improved ideation, fuels collaboration and simplifies communication. Many see putting pen to paper as a chance to connect on a personal level, forcing all of us to look up from our smart phones and tablets.
Recent studies support that visual note taking helps keep employees engaged. A 2009 study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology found that doodlers retained more than non-doodlers when remembering information that was presented in a boring context. According to Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth in England, doodling takes up just enough cognitive energy to prevent the mind from day dreaming.
Jeffery Murray, principal test manager at Microsoft starts off his new product feature meetings with sketches and cartoon like story boards. Sketches help “get everyone on the same page and convey the emotion and experience of the user,” he says. Eventually these ideas are transferred to PowerPoint desk he says. Ironically, the developers then sketch and scribble over the top of the projections on the whiteboard.
Fueling creativity and increasing engagement while connecting on a fun, personal level, the benefits of visual note taking are quite impressive. Whether a traditional white board, an accent wall of dry erase paint, or a large panel of glass, the opportunity to provide doodle space is virtually unlimited.
To learn more about incorporating visual note taking areas into your office, contact us here.
In honor of Earth Day this Sunday, April 22nd, we would love to share the story of its origin with you as told by Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day himself.
“What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.
Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.
I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.
After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:
"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."
It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.
Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”
It has been 42 years and today we continue to struggle with environmental issues. This Sunday, we urge you to spend some time honoring our planet, whether it be planting a new tree or switching your light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent. If everyone makes small alterations, they will add up to one big change.
If you would like to learn more about sustainable technology in your home or business, contact us here .
“Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.”
That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For the second year in a row, one of our designers, Cassidy Lange, will be participating in the Race for the Cure in honor of her grandmother who is a breast cancer survivor. On Sunday, April 22nd, Cassidy will join thousands of supporters in a three mile race through downtown Spokane. She is a team member of the International Interior Design Association’s (IIDA) local chapter, who’s t-shirts read “make them permanent fixtures”. Cheers to everyone participating in the race!
For more information on the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you can visit their website here.
If you would like to support Cassidy in her Race for the Cure, donate here.
We wanted to take moment and recognize our amazing clients who were winners in the Inlander’s Best of 2012. We have the most incredible clients and are so excited for each and every one of you. Congratulations and Cheers!