Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Universal Truths

I have just returned from a pan Asia trip that included stops in Dubai, Bangalore, Mumbai, KL, Tokyo and Hong Kong. At times the diversity and contradictions were hard to manage and I reached out to local philosophies and religions from various people in an amateur attempt to come to a single framework to understand the passing world. I heard about Rama, Vishnu and Shiva, about rice pickers and potato pickers, blood types, numerology and star-signs but alas nothing seems to fit.

How could it be that such differences had developed in these extremes. From the heights of the Dubai Khalifa tower to the slums of Mumbai. From the chaos of Bangalore traffic to the white gloved taxi drivers of Tokyo. From the politeness of Japanese restaurants to the bustle of the horse racing at Happy Valley. And so I decided to play with the idea myself.

Hunter Gatherers don’t like cubicles either!

Dilbert by Scott Adams devotes a whole section to the identity, purpose and dilemmas of seating in the modern workplace. He links the shape and size of the typical cubicle to 4 previous incarnations (Veal pen, Cardboard box, baby’s playpen and hilariously a prison cell) as he mercilessly lampoons the cube and all its derived forms.
In a previous role I was the PM for a project to design seating for 22,000 engineers in the mid-west of America.