Monitor the Situation
While acknowledging that peak nineties nostalgia has basically been and gone, I want to say that there are aspects of that important time in history that didn’t get proper airtime as part of the revival. Specifically, I’m referring to the nineties computer monitor. In saying this, I’m not trying to be ironic or vaporwave. Those things had such presence, taking up half your desk and emitting an array of beeping/booping sounds of a type that you simply don’t hear nowadays.
Sure, the proportions were kind of monstrous, and I guess I wouldn’t want to go back to the offices of that time. It was kind of a technological cross-over period, when filing cabinets were still a thing and computers were starting to become de rigueur, meaning that most workspaces were crammed full of both types of clunky equipment. But still, there was a gentle charm about all of it.
Some would say that this is what’s responsible for the period’s famously terrible office design solutions. Melbourne interior styling consultants surely breathed a sigh of relief when slimline monitors and external hard drives finally became a thing. Still, I’m inclined to argue that the equipment lent a particular flavour to office interiors, of a kind now lost to the sands of time.
These days, there’s so much space in office fitouts. Within Melbourne, at least, there’s a huge amount of energy invested in making work stations as open as possible, to the point that there’s virtually nothing on or around your desk – if you even have one, that is. While there’s obvious advantages to that, it can feel sort of exposed, especially if you remember that ‘boxed into a cubicle’ feeling. There was a certain safety to that.
Look, I know I’m stretching the truth a bit. None of us (myself included) really wants to go back to the nineties as far as technology is concerned, or design for that matter. Still, it’s fun to wax lyrical about the olden days of dial-up internet, chat rooms and monitor limbo.