Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine
Readers respond to stories about open offices, grieving for a child, and Gamergate.
COMFORTING THE GRIEF-STRICKEN
“A Grieving Mom’s Request” is the very best essay (Connections, March 8) I have ever read about the death of one’s child. All of us who share this tragic experience feel exactly as Roberta Levine Waters does . . . and we have never been able to express our inner feelings and pain with such love and grace. I, too, feel the better place for all our children is with us. My thoughts and love to her and her family.
Carole Stepanek / Stoughton
The back page of the Globe Magazine is one of the first places I turn to. There have been many excellent columns, some funny, some insightful, some tender. But the March 8 Connections wins the prize. Waters spoke such truth and, by sharing her feelings, provided instruction to many who are never quite sure how to act in similar situations. I thank her for her words of wisdom and hope they prove to be an “aha moment” for many.
Maureen Fessenden / Falmouth
“The Open Floor Plan Flop” (March 8) profiles the new open plan headquarters building for Education First in Cambridge but misses essential ingredients in its review of the office design concepts. [My firm] Wilson Architects — in collaboration with Wingardhs of Sweden and EF’s interior designers in London — paired the flexible work spaces there with a range of collaboration areas and interspersed social spaces. This mix — combined with unimpeded views and natural light — enhances team-based work and is a tremendous draw for talent. We continue to work with EF and others on similarly innovative environments and predict that those on the hunt for talent will follow.
Principal, Wilson Architects / Boston
Your article misrepresents current thinking in office design. You set this up as all or nothing: either a fully open plan or a return to traditional arrangements (private offices, closed spaces, etc.). That is a false choice. In fact, the best thinking in design today acknowledges that offices need to be comprised of many different types of work settings — private offices, cubicles, benches, collaborative areas, focus rooms for privacy and concentration, and common areas for group gatherings. Every negative issue you recited — lack of privacy, lack of focus, poor acoustics — has been successfully dealt with in high-performance work space design. Our clients enjoy a much higher success rate than the 50 percent you quote. Virtually all who have
converted to a more open office environment will never go back.
Daniel P. Perruzzi Jr.
Principal, Margulies Perruzzi Architects / Boston
Open office spaces suck. You hear every conversation around you. You can never concentrate. You feel watched. You have nothing you can call your own. You know everything you say can be heard by others. It is a revoltingly simpleton idea to save money. It easily reduces work efficiency except if everything you do relies on teamwork . . . I mean every task . . . and even then it’s debatable.
nukular / posted at bostonglobe.com
I read the essay “Some Gamers Want to Ruin Women’s Lives. They Won’t Win.” (Perspective, March 8) the morning my 14-year-old son was heading off to the last day of PAX East. (I asked him to read it, too.) As the mother of an enthusiastic gamer, I would like to know what I can do to support Brianna Wu and other women in the gaming industry and how I can actively fight against the “emotional terrorism” of “toxic male gamers” and the sexism in the field of game development. Have the women in the gaming industry organized themselves? If so, is there a place in the organization for allies (male and female) to stand with these women, expressing their support for (1) educating the gaming population regarding how women in the industry are treated, (2) advocating for change in the workplace, and (3) publicizing and shaming the outrageous actions of the toxic male gamers? I would love to know how I can support Wu and her colleagues.
Susan Matheson / Cambridge
Wu is at the epicenter of a misogynist tsunami. Addressing the extreme inequity demonstrated by gamers is not just the task of those involved in the video game industry but of all who deplore injustice. Real men support women.
Beth Sommers / Cambridge
I’m not a gamer. Playing does not interest me in the least. I am a 63-year-old grandmother who is astounded and deeply disturbed by the information in this essay. It’s outrageous that these female game developers are receiving death threats. Why aren’t the men making these threats in jail? Is there anything I can do to support these women?
Laurel DiMatteo / Portsmouth, New Hampshire