We messed up and you responded. Last fall, we posted a gallery of the messiest engineering desks, courtesy of our sister site, EETimes. EELife editorial director Brian Fuller, who came up with the slideshow, opined that the results showed that the messier the desk, the more of a genius its owner must be.
We wanted to see whether Design News readers were as organizationally challenged. Several of you responded, so here's Messy Desks Part II, which mashes up mechanical engineers' workspaces with additional EETimes pictures.
Click the image below to view more of the messiest engineers' desks around:
Nicholas Lee of Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, shows off "my vast hoard of electronic components, reference books, datasheets, and a miscellany of electronic projects under construction," which reside next to his desk.
Mechanical Design Engineers are commonly neat and organized; especially those born under the Virgo sign.So organized that it becomes a setback.... almost OCD-like ... I'm talking about myself, of course.I find that I can't concentrate on work if distracted by clutter and have to "put things away" before realizing any productivity.Laugh if you must --- I'm used to it now --- my wife has been making fun of me for years.
Funny situation about empty cubicles gathering other people's stuff ....There was one vacant corner cube that had clear visibility by everyone walking past to the break room.On the blank White Board was clearly printed, "This Space Left Blank Intentionally".
Jim, you are most definitely in the minority with the clean desk although I can see that mechanical design engineers may have a greater appreciation for precision and order. Maybe others can weigh in on the engineering disciplines with the worst track record.
I try to have my desk somewhat organized at the end of Friday. But when I work on a project I have papers, tools, and electronic "stuff" spread all around. Last night I helped a friend wire new circuits into his breaker box. I had tools on the floor, in my pockets and in the breaker box. I do have a tool belt, but most of the time tools end up in random order in its pockets. I have no idea whether my mode of operations relates to mental state or choice of profession. It might be interesting to ask academics involved with chaos theory if they have "neat" work habits.
MOST of the images here seem to be desks of electrical/electronics engineers. Even Mr. Sledge, with his lathe, says most of his work is electronic.
I think the slideshows (by looking for messy desks) are proving the observation that electrical engineers tend to have messy desks, and mechanical engineers have neat(er) desks. We're not seeing many messy mechanical engineer desks in these slide shows.
Brian and Alex, I think you'll need to do a part III, and show ONLY those submissions from mechanical engineers.
I'm reluctant to turn that observation into a theory of engineer behavior. Do we really want to know what makes us tick?
I've never figured out why I can remember the placement of so many individual objects (mostly sheets of paper and file folders) in archeological-like stratified sequences, yet completely forget the locations of a few of them.
TJ, the reason that so many of the desktops are skewed to EEs is that they've responded more broadly to the call for messy desk pictures than have MEs. I would love to have more ME desk pictures. People can send them to me at email@example.com
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