Building a Room to Think, high ceilings work

After three days in the bay area it is nice to get home.  Home is a place to reflect on the week's activities. To meditate.

Meditation is thought of as a self improvement, but I also use the technique of meditation to think of the data center industry.

Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit.[1][2][3] 

Last week with the DCD Seattle event I got a chance to chat with a bunch of folks who were in town and it turns out some were in town longer than they expected as they flew out from the East Coast and where then going to Uptime Symposium. Fieldview Solutions's John Consoli was one of those who was sticking around so we decided to grab lunch on Friday.  I told him to take a cab over to my house, and we could go to lunch and i would give him a ride back to his hotel.  I gave Fred the 3 minute tour as a complete tour of the house, office, and beach house can take an hour, and is a workout walking down the 200 steps to the beach and back.

When I ran into Fieldview Solutions's CEO Fred Dirla in Santa Clara, he heard about my house and 30ft ceilings.  Actually the ceiling is 13ft, not 30. 


I spend more time than I expected in this room, even choosing to work in the room.  Why? I think being in a tall ceiling feels good.  WSJ has a post on the concept.

Today, it turns out, the real cutting edge of architecture has to do with the psychology of buildings, not just their appearance. Recently, scientists have begun to focus on how architecture and design can influence our moods, thoughts and health. They've discovered that everything—from the quality of a view to the height of a ceiling, from the wall color to the furniture—shapes how we think. 




It's not just color. A similar effect seems to hold for any light, airy space. In 2006, Joan Meyers-Levy, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's school of management, studied the relationship between ceiling height and thinking style. She demonstrated that, when people are in a high-ceilinged room, they're significantly better at seeing the connections between seemingly unrelated subjects. In one experiment, undergraduates came up with nearly 25% more connections between different sports, such as chess and basketball, when sitting in a loft-like space than in a room with an 8-foot ceiling. Instead of focusing on particulars, they were better able to zoom out and see what various things had in common.

I found the research paper by Joan Meyers-Levy on ceiling height.



We believe that the effects produced by high or low ceilings actually occur because such ceiling heights increase or
decrease vertical room volume, which in turn stimulates
alternative concepts and types of processing. Indeed, this
logic corresponds with Hall’s (1966, 77) earlier discussed
thesis that chapels versus cathedrals communicate our theorized (i.e., confinement vs. freedom-related) associations
“by virtue of the space they enclose.”


FYI, we did not specify 13ft ceilings.  It was the height we needed to make the garage above us be level with the road.  We have no regets having little choice, and made the height one of the main features of the room, and a great place to think.