One trait of working in an ad agency is discussing how one's office and or space is or isn't helping you be "creative." A creative space doesn't make creative people, but it does help creative people be creative.
Just finished The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. Not a new book, but was new to me. A few great paragraphs and insights buried in the book. One of my favorites:
"There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places... [t]he music or the view distracts for a time that nervous, censorious, practical part of the mind which is inclined to shut down when it notices something difficult emerging in consciousness and which runs scared of memories, longings, introspective or original ideas and prefers instead the administrative and the impersonal."
Often we expect others to make our space conducive to good thinking or just accept what is there. It's great to move or rearrange everything to jump start new thinking. First though it's good to know what you have. Here's how I work:
This wall is a physical expression of my mind. Articles, collateral and printed bits of the world collected in groups discernible only to me but well organized based on particular lines of though at a given moment/project.
The desk which is unremarkable.
This black box exists purly to rest Bill Bernbach's genius.
If a big thought is necessary, or a better way to state a thought in a brief, you'll find me looking at the street below or a sliver of the mountains and ocean visible just out of frame to the left.