Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Building my new home office

Since we moved into our house in 2001, we’ve used part of the garage as a home office. Actually, functionally speaking much of the house is a home office at one time or another, but my desk and books are in the garage. Some of my books, at least: I’ve long had more books than is good for me, and not enough space for them, so at least half of them have been in a storage shed or the Institute. (An occupational hazard: my father and stepmother have a two-story octagonal library in their house, and have also filled the basement with books!)

I’ve long dreamed of having enough space for all my books. A couple weekends ago, we went to Ikea and bought some shelving. We bought it right before I went to Europe, so we didn’t get it assembled before I left; but on Saturday we got it built. Finally, I’ve got space for all my books. I’ve got to put two rows on each of the shelves, but I’ve had to do that since Berkeley, so I’m used to it.

My new home office
my daughter alphabetizing books, via flickr

So now I have bookcases and working space on three sides: the armoire, the new tall bookcases beside those, and the short white bookcases forming the other arm of the U. Heaven.

My new home office
my son in my new intellectual control center, via flickr

I’ll spend the next few days happily alphabetizing the books, then figuring out the ideal way to arrange them around me. Actually, I’m not likely to ever find an ideal system; I’ll keep reorganizing them forever, as projects come and go.

Update: A Finnish friend informs me that the design for the Ikea bookcases I just bought is, shall we say, an homage to bookcases long sold by a Finnish company, Lundia. Their Web site doesn’t seem to have an English section, but their designs– particularly their chairs– look edgier than most Ikea furniture these days. Maybe the difference is that Ikea design, for all its Swedish origins, is now a generic global modern, manufactured in and designed to appeal to buyers in China and Copenhagen alike, while Lundia’s is more purely Finnish.

1 Comment

  1. Turning your garage into a home office? Why not! =D I mean, there are so many creative stuffs to do in your own garage, and making it into an office is such a nice idea. With just a little organizing and designing, I’m sure that this room will look classy and kid-friendly.

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