Last year, our sister site EETimes posted our first gallery of the messiest engineering desks, and we followed up earlier this year with one of our own. Our thought was, "The messier the desk, the more of a genius its owner must be."
We are putting the call out again. Send photos of your disheveled workspace, along with a short caption, to executive editor Jennifer Campbell, and we'll post the results on Designnews.com in the coming weeks.
Kid, my friend, I'm sorry I have to disagree a little on one point, my experience has been messy vs. clean are just two different strategies of organization. I do think this whole blog misses the point, our highly revered (rightfully so) engineering forefathers with the messy desks were able to find whatever it was they were looking for, or whatever it was someone asked them for. Clean or messy, Felix Unger or Oscar Madison, ask them for, say, that obscure nitnoid specification on that component released several years before and see how long it takes for them to find it. Felix would go digging through the numerous hanging files in the desk drawers, Oscar through the numerous piles on top of the desk.
I've had a number of conversations over the years and have found that some managers like to use "relocation" every couple years to keep the messy desks to a minimum. While I'm not one to win a competion such as this, I don't necessarily have neat little piles either. Just a happy medium. Since I have been doing some contract work lately, it does force a higher standard since you only bring what you really need.
"Those who subscribe to a Clean Desk Policy can never experience the delight of finding something that was thought to be irretrievably lost!" - Unknown.
Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.
In fact, in the days I was still allowed to eat chocolate peanuts and raisins, I would tip the whole packet on my desk above my keyboard and, lo and behold, finding a stray one weeks later... tastes so much better!