Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Recently, Apple revealed the blueprints for its headquarters 2.0. The doughnut-shaped behemoth is set to become the shiny/new worktime home of 12,000 programmers, researchers, executives, and their respective cats (I'm guessing), and promises to be a boon to the economy of Cupertino, California, where it is to be built. Reading about this at my OHSU workstation that I share with fourteen people, I am struck by the marked similarities between the present-day campuses (capai?) of Apple, Inc. & Oregon Health & Science University. Or was it someone's elbow...

Once upon a time, an impulsive railroad company purchased a plot of land in Portland, OR. "It's Portland," I imagine them reasoning, "how bad could it be?" One wonders why it took them thirty years to discover that the top of a hill is not a great place for a railroad. "But it is for a hospital!" I imagine the OHSU founding fathers cheering up the downcast railroad tycoons, "one single-lane road provides plenty of room for traffic and hurried ambulances alike! Or is it ambulai?"

And the rest, as they say, is history. Nearly 100 years after the start of our beloved Marquam Hill campus, we've managed to realize the impossible dream: a massive modern hospital that overlooks the pristine landscape that is Portland, Oregon. An intellectual Mount Olympus overlooking its domain and calling it good. A biomedical statue of liberty calling out with silent lips:

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
Your adequately insured
Your non-smokers
But come by public transportation
Parking up here can be tricky

"Oh, Kyle," my faithful readers are likely to think, "you're being pretty dramatic and unrealistic. Look at the view! It's not that bad up here! " It's not that bad. Answer me this: deep down, aren't all OHSU employees afraid of the day when the Tram Operators realize they could fit way more morning commuters inside if they stacked them horizontally? I know I am. And the view up here is pretty fantastic, I agree. Myself and my fourteen desk-mates managed to get the top level of the bi-level cubicle, so if cubicle block D adjusts their computer monitor just right, we can almost make out one of the trees adjacent to the Library. But I digress. I come bearing solutions! An OHSU 2.0 for us all!

I submit Figure 1. Now, keep in mind that this is a bit of a rough draft, and our Behavioral Neuroscientists will need to train the pigeons to keep things afloat, but I think this could really be the space-giving solution we've all been looking for.

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