Boredom is Necessary

From the School of Life’s blog:  

In advance of Sunday’s sermon by visionary architect Will Alsop, we
grabbed five minutes to ask him a few questions about his underlying
thoughts on the subject of boredom.

You’ve
remarked that if a company keeps its employees working as a rule,
that’s bad management. What’s your working style, and how does it stop
you from getting bored? And in keeping your employees and clients
inspired? What role does your drawing wall play in that?

Good
management of people means total openness and never asking them to do
things both you know and they know are a waste of time. The role of the
drawing wall allows all to see a hint of what’s going on.

You’ve
argued that “if a society is creating spaces where people are happy to
sit and do nothing, it’s doing something right”. [Please correct quote
if this isn’t right.] How would you answer those who say that in reality
such places mainly collect the marginalised and socially lost (in the
case of public spaces) or the passive and unthinking (in the case of
entertainment spaces)? What kind of spaces for doing nothing do you want
to create?

Strange
that it’s difficult to sit in a public space and do nothing, as they
have moved all the benches, at the expense of street cafes where you
have to pay to sit and do nothing.

How would you best describe boredom of the creative kind?

WA: To have sufficient time to do nothing and not worry about it. It is never boring.

Do you think today we feel pressured to fill our spare time
with activities rather than use rare and valuable empty time to take
time to pause and reflect? 

WA:  For people of all ages, there would appear to be an
increasing sense of guilt if you are not filling all the hours of the
day with something that so-called society feels is of value.

You’ve suggested that good taste and refined style are boring in a bad way. Why? 

WA: The idea of taste and style are boring in a bad way because
these are values that are imposed by so-called experts/tastemakers
promoted by the media and simply act as a crutch for the mentally
lethargic.

You’ve
remarked that if a company keeps its employees working as a rule,
that’s bad management. What’s your working style, and how does it stop
you from getting bored? And in keeping your employees and clients
inspired? What role does your drawing wall play in that?

WA: Good management of people means total openness and never
asking them to do things both you know and they know are a waste of
time. The role of the drawing wall allows all to see a hint of what’s
going on.

You’ve argued that “if a society is creating spaces where people are happy to sit and do nothing, it’s doing something right”.  

WA:  Strange that it’s difficult to sit in a public space and do
nothing, as they have moved all the benches, at the expense of street
cafes where you have to pay to sit and do nothing.

 

Tomatoes

Summertime, and the tomatoes are ripe and delicious.
Honestly, who doesn’t like these. With a little salt, basil, cracked black pepper and a nice buffalo mozzarella to go on the side — add a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh baked bread (like Val just baked for us here) and you have my dinner for the next month.

This old guy was selling the on the side of the bike path — we had to stop. Only €6 for an entire box of fresh, garden grown, tomatoes.

Summer Tomato Time