Tag Archives: alcatraz

Rooms without windows can make you crazy

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My boss says, ‘Although I can’t see out any windows, I can sense when it’s suddenly dark outside.’

No, we’re not in gaol. We’re at work. And unlucky for us our office is completely disconnected from the outside world. That’s right, whoever designed our part of the building forgot one crucial element.

Windows.

So it makes us rely on our other senses. Feelings about cloud cover. Sounds of light rain. Smells of fresh flowers opening in spring while we’re stuck inside slaving away at our desks.

It reminds me of Alcatraz, the former US prison in San Fransisco Bay. Some of the worst criminals in the United States lived out their days in the prison blocks on that island. Solitary confinement, deaths, horrific riots… it all happened at Alcatraz. The cells are small, dirty, cold and dark, with very little natural light. When you visit you feel its sordid history and it sends chills up your spine.

Imagine never seeing natural light. Image by David James at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolas_vollmer_photo/9250943994

Imagine never seeing natural light
Image by Nicolas Vollmer at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolas_vollmer_photo/9250943994

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