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March 7, 2024
The Fun They Had

The tradeoff between remote and in-person work calls to mind the famous Isaac Asimov short story, “The Fun They Had.”

The year is 2155, when children learn individually at home with a robotic teacher.* Eleven-year-old Tommy finds a real book in the attic of his house, which tells about a time when children learned in groups of students in large schools that were not merely designated rooms in private houses.

Tommy and his neighbor, Margie, discuss what it must have been like to study together with a real person as a teacher. At first Margie is skeptical about the notion, but by the end of the story she is sitting on the chair before her robotic teacher, daydreaming about what that must have been like and “the fun they had.”

Back in 2020, our team did well working from home—our equivalent of home schooling. We mastered remote access tools and, in some cases, worked as efficiently as in our office setting. But before long, many of us were saying we couldn’t wait to get back to the office (or on-site).

Naturally, we wanted to interact with our colleagues. SUPERSTRUCTURES not only comprises a collection of smart, dedicated, talented individuals, but it’s also a social group that’s fun to be with. Our work is more rewarding when we reinforce one another in ways that only occur face to face.

As trying as the pandemic was, we discovered unexpected advantages of technology that can extend our work beyond the office—and were reminded of the enduring power of in-person collaboration. We like to think our current “hybrid” arrangement combines the best of both.

*Prescient as Asimov was, he still presumed that children would learn a special punch code to complete assignments on paper that they would then insert into a slot in the robot.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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