A great many friends seem to be approaching the gates, passing through, or plain dealing with their Saturn Return—that is, when the Great Malefic planet Saturn wheels back to meet your natal Saturn, that is, a wake-up call from the dreams of youth, that is, when shit hits the fan. Think: Janis, Jimi, Jim, Kurt, Amy, Brian Jones. All turning 30-ish. (Other useful “that is”zezz available here.)

My friend, our shop manager Em is constructing for herself a distinct alternative to the world obliterating spaz out that comes with this crossroads period, this realm of responsibility. As her Saturn makes its return, this fine lady has been taking to the out of doors, she has been biking to the beach, she has been boning up on pottery books, she has brunette-ified. Sure, as with most of us, there’s been talk of graduate school. With her, it’s been business school, but once I assured her that she can just take over our business, she’s been doing great! And today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Em!

I know Em would like for me to celebrate this special day by reaching deep in my library of 70s decorating books and sharing with you some joyful working environments of elders who have met their Saturn Return with similar gusto and did it their way. I give you—

Obvi Bill Kirsh‘s architectural medallion is a yin-yang-ish wave. All images from Working Places, technically published in 1980, by Jeffrey Weiss. Photographs by David Leach.

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