From physical space to cognitive space

Technology fostered an open sharing collaborative environment with people happy to share and renounce(voluntarily or not) a whole mass of personal data and privacy. In addition, this new environment created an ever increasing volume of data available which goes beyond our brain capacity, leading to anxiety and infoxication. 

This problem is reflected too in modern office design and working patterns. The new layout includes (sometimes) a brand new architecture: open space offices; working from home; flexibility, etc. This new physical layout obviously contributes to greater  collaboration and consequently brings more data to the equation.

These are all physical changes and impacts. Nobody, however, paid attention to the cognitive changes required to renegotiate these new spaces and tools. 

We therefore have people emotionally stressed by overwhelming loads of data.

My proposal is to follow a couple of simple rules:

1. Ask yourself why before starting. ¿Is it useful? ¿Is it beautiful?. If the answer is neither then why bother?

2. Simplicity. Look for the maximum simplicity in whatever you do. As happens with some junk food (you feel satiated but it has done you any good at all) there are junk behaviours and data procecessed actions you need to cut down on or just avoid completely. Think about some social networks that consume a lot of your time with no real useful or pleasureable outcome. ¿Do you really need them?. Maybe not. Digital does not necessarily mean ubiquitous, it means the capacity to discriminate wisely.

So the idea is not only to take care of physical architecture but also to address urgent cognitive and emotional architectural changes to ensure mental health, creativity and productivity.

Its time to be over-excited. Not overwhelmed.

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