Sam Martin, senior editor at frog design and the editor-in-chief of design mind magazine who authored Manspace: A Primal Guide to Marking Your Territory spoke at TED about the need for a manspace, which is a space that is “custom-built hangout where a man can work, play and generally be himself.”
I have always had tried to have a manspace of my own. As a teen, I had a little mezzanine floor room, where I rocked out listening to Deep Purple, Judah Priest and Pink Floyd on my record player. As an immigrant, for the first six odd years I didn’t have the luxury of a “manspace.”
Later I used a corner of a bedroom, kitchen and eventually an office as a manspace. They weren’t quite me, mostly because I was sharing my apartment with a childhood buddy. After moving to San Francisco, I have lived alone, but never got around to personalizing, up until this summer when I moved into a new apartment. Now it is all one giant manspace — designed with the help from a couple of friends.
Designing a manspace is not easy. So I asked my friend Sayeh Pezeshki who runs a superb blog, The Office Stylist if she had any advise. Sure enough: she offered three simple but very vital steps to creating your “Manspace”:
1. Make Space
It sounds simple enough but I really mean MAKE space. If you have a small corner in your bedroom as your office or space, move it to your living room and make room for your area. Take away anything that doesn’t belong or that will distract you, including remotes, Sudoku puzzles, sports equipment, etc.
2. Pick your Focus
Whether it’s a specific color or a particular hobby, choose what will make it feel like “you.” If you identify with or have a thing for the color blue, then this is the place to infuse it with. Have a picture of your favorite football player scoring a touch down? You get the picture here…
3. Grab + Exchange
Pick 5 or so things in your space you don’t care for and exchange them for the similar items but with what you want to focus on. For example, I had someone ask me to help him bring in green + gray, but still keep it “manly” in his workspace. I went in And replaced his black mesh pencil holder with a conversation piece, “Butt Station”, plastic file holders, with stainless steel, and a boring leather for a silver business card case with a @ sign on the front. You don’t want to get too distracting with these items, but keep them in line with what you want to see every day.
“The point here is to make your “manspace” YOUR space. Keep that in mind and everything else will come together easily,” Sayeh says. Amen to that. Now go enjoy Sam Martin’s talk.
PS: You can buy some great stuff from Sayeh’s store or hire her to design your office.