The 99U team of contributors spans the globe: from illustrators in Italy, Spain, and South Africa, to writers in Australia, the US, and Germany, we have collaborators across four continents in eight countries. We asked a handful of our regular contributors for a glimpse into their current work spaces, home offices, and other unique setups, as they adjust to a new remote work landscape and creative work environment.
“We are South African citizens, from a small town called Wilderness, and had been on holiday in the UK. On our way to the airport, we got the news that all airports in South Africa closed and that our flights had been cancelled. It was our first time visiting the UK, and we bought the motorhome in March. We ended up living in the motorhome for four weeks in the English countryside before we were able to get a repatriation flight home. The motorhome is in storage and we plan to return to continue our tour when we can.”
“I recently moved apartments, so I’ve been using my time in quarantine to settle into new routines, reorganize bookshelves, and get to know my new space better. Over a month ago, I drove a circular glass dining table that I’ve always loved from my mum’s flat in London over to Berlin; it’s now become my makeshift desk underneath the living room window. As spring has sprung outside, I’ve been joining my neighbors in sunbathing on our balconies, planting new seeds, and sipping much-needed spritzes at sunset.”
“I’m in Paris, France where living is small, and my workspace is in my living room. My second monitor doubles as my TV. I love surrounding myself with things that inspire me, which includes my collection of maps on a postcard rack, photobooth strips with friends, and little gifts and trinkets I have collected over the years. The portraits of me are by two of my favorite illustrators: Jean Jullien and Lisa Congdon (the swimming portrait is from her book The Joy of Swimming which I keep on my bookshelf).”
“I’ve found it necessary to divide my workspace into areas devoted, where possible, to productivity and relaxation. My desk (a work in progress—I’ve been building a new one) is now where I do most correspondence, read the news, watch YouTube tutorials, and receive the odd phone call. Usually I would have it much more filled with computer paraphernalia, but I need a more peaceful environment to sit at a desk and not try to have every kind of notification within arms reach.
“Behind my desk is my shelf of camera equipment and charging wall, which admittedly hasn’t gotten much use over the last eight weeks, and next to that is my Fileserver which I’ve transformed into a streaming workstation. I’m hoping in the future to remotely produce virtual programming once my clients start to come back online, so this has been the focus of most of my research.”
“I’m lucky enough to have a backyard, which essentially doubles the size of my Brooklyn railroad-style apartment (meaning my desk is in my bedroom). Now that it’s getting nicer out, I work outside as much as I can—I’ve been spending my free time cleaning up back there to make it as cozy and functional as possible. Prior to shelter-in-place, I typically spent my working hours in co-working spaces, so when I moved last fall my home office was the last thing I paid attention to. So it’s a little sparse and basic, but it does the trick.
“And I’m not gonna lie: My puppy is a big cuddler—her favorite thing to do is crawl under the blankets and sleep on my feet—and isn’t really into mornings, so I often start my day with coffee and emails in bed with her. I know, I know, this goes against everything I’ve read—and written!—about productive WFH habits, but how can I say no to a snuggle from that face?!”