Workspace Series #3 – Makia Harper
IMA alum Makia Harper works for the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities in the East Building at Hunter College. When she has fulfilled her duties for work, she likes to stay in the space and work on creative projects.
1) How often do you generally work in the space during the week and about what time do you arrive?
I am here about 4 days a week, sometimes weekends. Most days I start in the late morning to early afternoon and leave around 7 . At really busy times I am easily here until 9,10.
2) What are the best aspects of working there? And what are the downsides?
I often lose my sense of time when I am here, its so peaceful. I must say that I am quite fortunate to work in a such a beautiful space, the large bay windows allow for light to pour into the room. I’m what you might call solar powered and light sensitive, and need natural light. So its amazing to work in a space that brings so much light and has an amazing view of the city. The room is filled with so much oxygen that there is stillness, the plants (we have about 12) make the space feel even more vast. The downside of the space is that it’s a multi-purpose room so there are times when there are meetings in here and I work through them, sometimes I can get alittle distracted by them, however they are usually incredibly interesting.
3) What do you listen to in the space while you work?
I listen to Pandora and adjust my stations according the tone of the day anything from soft jazz to Calypso. Sometimes I will play the karaoke version of a song I like and sing the evening away. There are many times where I just like to listen to the sound of the city, cars, buses, protests as of late, people chatting in their offices, roars of laughter from the hallway..
My most random item in this space has to be the super soaker, my boss recently put it in a tote container, I think that is was drawing a lot of attention during meetings, yeah its a conversation starter.
Last summer, my cousin came down from Philly and met me here on a Saturday and we went to the Water Gun Fight in Central Park. That day it rained so hard and it was cold, we came back to my office to dry off. We stood in front of my space heater for hours. I left the water gun on the shelf to give my area a little personality and make reminisce about the early 90’s and my early teen years.
I work on the 12th floor of the East building and there are several departments on this floor. There is an after school program that meets Tuesday and Thursdays, the kids are often so mesmerized by the view in my office they walk right in to look out the window and start talking to me, and writing on the white board- which for the most part is adorable.
6) Briefly something you’re working on right now
I get a chance to work on different things here, since its summer I am preparing budgets for the next grant cycle for TGIF as well as brainstorming events for the next academic year. Creatively, I am brainstorming the next phase for my thesis project, acquiring new footage and working on a digital version of my installation.
7) Any other tips for staying focused and using the work space well?
I think its important to work in a space or create an environment where you can hear yourself, its important to have a space where you can be authentic and can be still, even if its internally so that you create and produce. It’s important to stay centered and know what you need to get to that place so that you can be focused and intentional making good use of time and space.