Monday, March 02, 2015

Is somebody finally doing something about the horror that is Monday?


It turns out that what the Studio 360 people really would have liked to "redesign" was the daily commute, but that was judged too big a job, and since the commute is worst on Monday mornings, they decided to settle for "redesigning" Mondays.

by Ken

The short answer to the question in my post title, "Is somebody finally doing something about the horror that is Monday?," is: Well, we'll see.

Frankly, I can't figure out what it is they think they're going to do about the problem Their very idea, that Monday can be treated as a "design" problem and "redesigned" out of its horribleness . . . well, that's just silly, isn't it?

Yet there it is, at the top of their website's "popularity" list since last Thursday: "Redesign Challenge: Bring Joy to Mondays." This tells us two things, I think. First, that it would be impossible to overstate the horror of the Monday problem, about which people would love to see something done. Second, that these aren't the people who are going to do it.

I can't say I've ever been much inclined to delve into Studio 360. I know it used to come on right before or right after one of the weekend shows I listened to faithfully on my local public radio station, so I would catch weekly snatches of it. It didn't sound like anything that was likely to repay my investment of time.

Anyway, here's the Studio 360 segment:

Host Kurt Andersen talks to designer Ingrid Fetell about the new "Designing Better Mondays" project.
And if you've been champing at the bit to follow the above link but haven't yet done so, let me save you the trouble. Here's how this latest "Redesign Challenge" was presented onsite:
Can design bring joy to the most frustrating, annoying moments of daily life? We asked you to tell us what terrible thing, place, or experience you wanted us to transform into something joyful. We heard about airport security lines, winter weather, taxes, and the daily commute. Redesigning America’s transportation systems might be a little ambitious, so our design partners focused on one aspect of the problem. “Nothing seems quite as painful as that Monday morning commute,” says Ingrid Fetell, a design director at IDEO and the author of the blog “Aesthetics of Joy.” “Why do people say things like, ‘I have a case of the Mondays’? Why is Monday in general so joyless?”

Over the next several weeks, Fetell and her team will work on a design to bring joy to Mondays. That’s welcome news for Dorothy Weiss of Alexandria, Virginia, who wrote us, “Does anything say ‘joyless’ more than [the elevator] trip up to work on a Monday morning?”

Weiss herself, though, is self-employed, “in part because I just couldn’t stand those Monday mornings anymore,” she tells Kurt Andersen. “I hope that I can help save Mondays for everybody else. That would be terrific.”
Well, we'll see.


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