Musical Fridays for happier architects

11 December 2019

Architecture journalist Merel Pit recently investigated how enjoyable the work of an architect is. During the Architect’s Day 2019, organised by the Royal Institute for Dutch Architects, the attendees seemed to their work a lot. In a poll by philosopher Lammert Kamphuis, most of the attendees expressed their satisfaction on a scale from one to five: a three to a five.

In his opening lecture, Lammert Kamphuis offered some new perspectives on job happiness. Merel writes how he spoke about the ‘homo ludens’, the playing man. He believes that people should play more during work instead of filling in every minute as efficiently as possible: “It is precisely the things that are not necessary, but what we do because we feel like it, that make life valuable.”

Then Merel Pit wondered: “How much is played at architectural firms?” Our colleague Renate van Schaik responded to her post on LinkedIn. Merel Pit on her online magazine A.ZINE: “She works at Team V Architectuur, one of the fastest growing architecture firms in the Netherlands, and told me about the space that employees get to make their working day as productive and fun as possible. Because in addition to their commitment to knowledge sharing, they have launched all kinds of playful initiatives. For example, some of her colleagues introduced the musical Friday: “On Friday they don’t talk to each other, but sing everything,” says Renate. And they introduced ‘Joost-de-Vreetje’, a recurring quiz moment about the meaning of construction words about which Joost de Vree writes on his encyclopedic website. ”

“In addition to the daily pleasure, they organize all kinds of activities. They participate in sporting events, organize a monthly Friday afternoon drinks in an Amsterdam bar, combine the Christmas party with a theme, including creative costumes and games.

“Last year we did old Dutch games – because of the many expats in our office, and this year games-on-ice,” says Renate. As icing on the cake, their model builder uses the laser cutter not only for models and volume studies, but also for Team V jewelry, Team V party decorations and Team V office supplies. “For our family day, he made two kits for the children, a castle and a birdhouse, which became one big playground”.

Merel writes: “If you don’t get inspiration from this, to do something fun together besides the annual office excursion, then I don’t know either.” […]

Lammert Kamphuis:” It would be much more approachable if we were to put on LinkedIn: ‘I had a moderate day, I’m glad I can go home again.’ Merel Pit ends her article with the praising words: “Although I wonder if the employees of Team V ever think so. ”- A.ZINE

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