jeweled platypus


tuesday, october 13, 2009
Decorations for a “creative” place

Let’s say you have a drab college building or office (or whatever) that you’re allowed to modify, and let’s say you have money burning a hole in your pocket. Here are some things you might want, based on what friends and I have looked at or gathered for our college’s little building to make it a warmer place to learn and hang out:

papercraft ceiling cat star switchplate eye chart switchplate elephant mobile
geek clock bird decals world's largest crossword puzzle
decorative pillows world map
plastic algae create poster

  1. Papercraft ceiling cat (free) — print this out and stick it above some computers.
  2. La Estrella and eye chart light switch covers ($4.50 each) — there are a ton of tacky switchplates for sale online, but the right ones are amusing in otherwise boring rooms.
  3. Elephant Party mobile ($32) — so cute that you can pretend it’s not for babies.
  4. Geek clock ($25) — to be placed in a room only visited by people who won’t get frustrated by it, aka the Physics and Math study room.
  5. Blik “fly” stickers ($25 for smaller restickable ones or $35 for larger permanent ones) — it’s much cheaper to make your own stickers if you have access to the vinyl cutter in the Art department, but not everybody has a convenient Art department.
  6. The World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle ($30) — perfect to install in a common area as a looming presence that can never be finished.
  7. Cost Plus pillows ($10-20) — make the dingy couch look fancier.
  8. World map (free if you have one hanging around) — hang this upside-down (or get an upside-down map) to remind yourself that cardinal directions are arbitrary.
  9. Vitra Algue ($30-35 for a 6-pack) — these are good to tuck into corners of pipes running along walls, as if plants are growing out of them.
  10. Right Brain Terrain “alternative motivational poster” ($15) — cheesy but pretty.

Also, if you have photos of people who spend time in the building, get them printed (for a few dollars at Snapfish etc.) and put them on the refrigerator with eccentric magnets. Add a magnetic poetry set and find out what kinds of horrible phrases your friends come up with. On a bulletin board, pin postcards and magazine clippings among the flyers.

Fake flowers usually aren’t a very good idea.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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