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According to this wiki entry on the decks of Galaxy-Class ships, crew / officer quarters are mainly on decks 7-10, with some others on lower decks, namely 17 and 32.

However, according to Data's entry on StarTrek.com, his living quarters were on

Deck 2/Room 3653 of the Enterprise-D.

I can understand having Data separate from the bulk of the crew, since an Android has different needs to a human and as I recall some of them are a bit uneasy around him, especially in the earlier seasons, but it doesn't make sense to me that his quarters are on Deck 2, near Sickbay, instead of Deck 36, near Main Engineering and, possibly more importantly, Droid Maintenance.

Is there any explanation given as to why Data's quarters are on Deck 2?

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    In case there's a catastrophic explosion, you don't want all of your senior crew sleeping on a single corridor. – Valorum Jul 31 '17 at 10:31
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    Well, no, but Picard, Riker and Troi, the people who sit in "the 3 chairs" on the bridge, all ended up on Deck 9, so they don't seem too concerned about potentially losing their 3 most senior crew members at the same time. – DisturbedNeo Jul 31 '17 at 10:47
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    Troi is not the third most senior. Data is the ship's "Second Officer" and third in the chain of command. Eventually Troi gets promoted but she's still less senior than Data on the ship. In an instance where they were both on the bridge, he'd have command. – Valorum Jul 31 '17 at 10:49
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    Droid Maintenance? Was that a Star Wars reference/easter egg? – Z. Cochrane Jul 31 '17 at 11:28
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    I don't think there's a direct reason for Data's quarters to be near the medbay. However, I can think of a few why Data would be annoyed by the Med Bay less than anyone else. He's an android, so he should be less perturbed by late night sounds or even patients screaming (both emotionally and for sleeping comfort, Data is affected less than anyone else). If others repeatedly complain about that, and Data doesn't care, he might be assigned there to prevent further complaints. – Flater Aug 3 '17 at 10:06
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While I don't know of any in universe answer being explicitly given, in watching the show during the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that Data's quarters are lacking in the standard hygiene facilities that the others quarters have, i.e. the sink in a drawer under the mirror that other quarters are shown to have. Since it is doubtful that the ship was designed with a specific officer in mind, it is likely that Data chose/was given an office rather than a regular crew quarters. In Star Trek Voyager both Chakotay and Tuvok are shown to work/receive reports in an office, and that is a small ship, so it would make sense that a larger Galaxy class ship would have many offices.

Also, as Data is 2nd officer and the Ops officer, his location during a crisis is on the bridge, meaning it is more advantageous to have his quarters close, which explains deck 2. While Picard also belongs on the bridge, we see several times that his quarters are much larger than standard, and even have a large desk in them, befitting his station, and with the saucer section designed as it is, space on deck 2 is rather limited, and a larger room like Picard's wouldn't fit nearly as well.

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I'm going to speculate based on available evidence.

Data's quarters have several unique features not seen in other crew quarters. Please point out any mistakes I have made, as this is mostly from memory.

  1. He lacks a visible bathroom. Most officer quarters appear to have a separate bathroom, but I don't think we ever see his.
  2. His bedroom appears to be smaller than other officers. Compared to Riker (who outranks him) or Troi (who he outranks). Data's bedroom appears to be little larger than a closet the few times we see it (E.G. w/ Tasha Yar).
  3. He has an integrated desk/work station. This station appears to be unique. It is very similar to the engineering stations or other computer terminals seen in the ship. The times we see other officers working from their quarters (Picard, Riker) it's usually with PADD's or small desktop units, and the desk is a simple piece of furniture. We do later see similar integrated workstations aboard Voyager, specifically in Chakotay's Office.
  4. His quarters are the only living area we see on Deck 2. The only other locations we see on deck 2 are Sickbay, and it's attached medical lab.

My theory is that Data took over a space that was not originally intended to be living quarters, but possibly a working office for the 1st Officer. We never hear it described as such explicitly, but it would make sense to have a dedicated office space for the 1st officer. Especially if we use the Intrepid class as an example of a similar era of ship design. The Galaxy class is designed for far longer cruises than the intrepid, and is far larger, so if Voyager includes dedicated spaces for Chakotay's Office, it stands to reason that the Enterprise had a similar location, even if it wasn't used as such.

Any such space would naturally be near the bridge. The captain has their ready room, and the 1st Officer would have their office nearby, or just below. It would also make sense for the office to be a bit larger than a ready room, as a 1st Officer like Riker is responsible for duty rosters and department reports, which would involve meeting with more people than Picard's ready room might be expected to host. Routine matters like this also wouldn't require the use of the main observation room on the Bridge, which is mostly reserved for ranking or bridge officers.

From what we see of Riker however, it is unlikely that he would use such a formal office. He has a much more collaborative/genial relationship with his subordinates, preferring to meet them in his quarters, ten forward, or at their assigned station. A sterile/official office wouldn't mesh with his management/command style.

So, my theory is that Data took over the 1st Officers Office, and used it as his personal quarters. Having a dedicated computer terminal/work station would suit his needs, and as the second officer his night-shift duties would match well with it's location. This would also open up another large set of living quarters which could go towards one of the families on board.

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    Nice job, you added a bit more details than I did in mine, mentioned more personality and procedures than I did. +1 from me. – Daishozen Aug 15 '17 at 20:18

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