How the Medici, monks, and the British Empire formed your workplace

The coronavirus pandemic has compelled most individuals to create an workplace area of their very own – whether or not by devoting a room in our houses for work, sitting socially distanced in widespread areas or simply making a “Zoom worthy” nook in a bed room.

As a scholar who researches and designs studying and workspaces, I’m conscious how the modern-day office was formed over a number of centuries. However few individuals might know that the origins of the workplace may be discovered within the monasteries of medieval Europe.

Early origin in monasteries

Starting across the fifth century, monks that lived and labored in monasteries preserved historic tradition by copying and translating spiritual books, together with the Bible, which was translated from Hebrew and Greek to Latin.

The workspaces throughout this time consisted primarily of a desk, coated with material to guard the books, and a writing room, or “scriptorium” in Latin. It was widespread for monks to face earlier than their writing desks within the scriptorium – a observe that has come again into vogue with the appearance of the standing desk in recent times.

Solely through the Renaissance did the chair-and-table mixture begin to be seen in workspaces.

In 1560, Cosimo I de’ Medici, who later turned the grand duke of Tuscany, wished a constructing by which each the executive and judiciary places of work of Florence might be underneath one roof. So he commissioned the constructing of the Uffizi, which in Italian means “offices.”

The decrease two flooring of the Uffizi had been designed as places of work for the Florentine magistrates that had been in control of overseeing manufacturing and commerce, in addition to the executive places of work. The highest flooring was a loggia – an space open on a number of sides.

The Medici household grew an artwork assortment on the highest flooring of the Uffizi. The loggia underwent varied renovations to accommodate statues and work, till it grew into an enormous artwork assortment and gallery. At present the whole constructing is an artwork museum.

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