This past weekend, a game developer (friend of a friend) showed me his workspace. It’s an environment like I’ve never seen before. The layout was open and the room was dark, apparently good for seeing graphics on a computer screen. No walls. But very quiet.

It got me to start thinking: what are the ways environment affect the way people operate?

I’m not just talking about office layout. But also things like background music, art on walls, the temperature of your coffee, access to food, material of your desk and chair. So many of these little non-personal cues poke and prod us to behave one way or the other. It’s a bit unsettling, right? These little invisible forces controlling some aspect of our lives.