Through a combination of place-map-ping, first-person observation and user
group interviews, a surprising reality
began to take shape. Rather than a lively
atmosphere of discourse and debate, we
found quiet, sparsely populated spaces
with little activity throughout the day.
There were few interactions among users
from different departments, and the
majority spent their time either eating
lunch in silence or talking on the phone.
The times of highest utilization occurred
earlier in the day, peaking over the lunch
hour with the pantry and café seating
area seeing the most activity. During this
time, a number of individuals attended scheduled executive meetings in the
conference room, but no spontaneous
meetings of any kind were observed.
Furthermore, the amenities provided to
support collaboration (magnetic boards,
writable tabletops) went unused. Indeed,
our observation of the space seemed to
NYU Winthrop University Hospital Research and Academic Center, laboratory view. Image: Copyright Sarah Mechling—Perkins Eastman
Interior view, waiting area. Image: Copyright Chris Cooper