Foster school of business post-occupancy study
Presented at the Society for College and University Planning international conference in 2014, this 2-year study investigated the social dynamics of students in the University of Washington Foster School of Business to evaluate the impact of LMN's facility design on student experiences and outcomes. I assembled and managed a team that developed a qualitative and quantitative methodology working with environmental psychology researcher Janice Fournier, PhD, involving surveys, interviews, and direct observation. Including an MBA student on the team was key in providing access and insights. Research results showed that peer-to-peer interactions are considered more important for successful student outcomes and career advancement than interactions with instructors. The physical facility, designed to encourage team-based learning and informal interactions, was found to play a role in providing spaces for both "bonding" and "bridging" processes in social interaction, measurable by calculating an interaction diversity index that I designed. This research has been presented several times subsequent to the conference, and has been considered a catalyst in opening up the business school market sector for LMN from a regional to a national level. Further detail is available in the case study "How Business Students Interact."
LMN Architects office post-occupancy study
Applying and evolving concepts from the Foster School study, I developed a post-occupancy study of the open-office design of LMN Architects to identify relationships between physical space and collaborative social dynamics. Design features such as workbench seating, collaboration spaces, and flexible event space were examined in the context of the history of high-rise office design as well as network communications theory to establish a working methodology for identifying bonding/bridging processes, implicit/explicit knowledge transfer, and efficiency/innovation opportunities. Ethnographic analysis revealed an implicit coding of "ownership" and "openness" as a critical duality in office culture. This research was presented at the University of Washington Communication Leadership forum, and remains in-process as new data collection tools come online.