I think that’s really great, that there are some certain things you always can be sure about. Like Earth goes around Sun, engineers are lazy, managers are in a hurry, architects are always late. (And neuroscientists are snobs, btw)
So, my a bit late reflections on the excursion in the Institute of Occupational Helth.
It was a quiet surrealistic experience, actually. First of all, Institute of occupational health studies almost only sleep. I can see some kind of logic here: the better you sleep the better you (can) work. Even though I know a lot of architects who sleep perfectly well, but I strongly doubt you might like to live in their projects. These architects might be healthy, but this fact has nothing in common with their occupation then. And on the opposite, I’ve never seen a good architect who says he sleeps enough. I don’t try to argue with the fact that sleep is important and affects our brain capacity. But studying sleep as the main criterion of occupational health sounds as weird as that Labor Day is a holiday. I’d like to learn something from studies on how do different types of interiors, traditional and coworking office spaces, affect on our effectiveness, what are the effects of artificial lightening, materials, textures, colours, sounds and noises, how do fixed and flexible working schedules affect the results, studies about group work vs independent work, leadership, psychological climate in teams, etc. I suppose these research topics could be more relative to the contemporary working environment and occupational health.
Next, the building. Let me find a propper word.. Mm, terrible? No, I really wonder why people who are supposed to study occupational health have to work in that ugly depressive environment? In dark spaces somewhere under ground, without windows and normal lightening, with long corridors painted in weird colours, which are furthermore sometimes a bit of a maze, and staircases like from the horror movies? How do they manage to work there without falling into deep-deep-depression?! They definitely have some secret knowledge they don’t share with us.
And finally, the research. I’m not from the field and know
nothing very little about science and scientific research. But what’s the point in studying obvious things? During several months they were running research on men in army, collecting eeg data, analysing it, and all this to find what? To come up with the idea that people after physical loads and high stresses need more rest. Really? Really?! Very surprising. I would never guess. That sounds like “two years scientists were studying water in Baltic sea and finally came up with the conclusion that it is wet”.
And this is a photo of an ant under an electron microscope.
Don’t you know why does he need a gear wheel?