Our behavior and modes of interaction are shaped by many factors of the built-environment, across multiple scales, and multiple disciplines.  Your architectural education has likely emphasized building form with spatial development defined by walls.  However, space can be defined implicitly as well as explicitly, and it is often this implicit sense of space where fuzzy boundaries encourage collaborative interaction.  At the same time, we know there are different personalities and different activities that shape collaborative patterns, and therefore a range of collaborative spatial arrangments.  Consequently, Herman Miller, the furniture company, does not simply design a piece of furniture, but makes great effort to study behavior though ethnographic studies and makes some of this information freely available.

  1. Each group will read one of the assigned articles (see below), and develop a concise summary – a kind of design primer – to share with each other in the studio.  Continue to search other articles and links in the article to support this concise primer.

  2. Provide images and links to particular furniture products you find in these articles, including models and drawings you can use.  Please also look at additional education furniture manufactures besides Herman Miller, such as KI or HON.   Make these clear and accessible so they become a shared studio resource.

  3. Provide additional images found on Pinterest, Archdaily etc that provide graphic examples of some of the issues outlined in your summary / design primer.

What do we want to know?

Getting beyond the product, what are the kinds of collaboration, behaviors, the atmospheres these furniture arrangements provide?

In looking to examples outside of the articles below (such as on ArchDaily, pinterest etc), what are other elements in the environment that shape these collaborative spaces?  Provide examples where custom elements (floors, ceilings, casework etc) contribute to the architectural quality of the space.

In short, outside of building form and walls, what is the range of design opportunities for you to shape collaborative spaces?

As your first blog post, this first assignment is also intended to support a quick “group think” summary.   You have two hours to complete the above – so quickly read together, discuss, and break up the work effort.  Complete your post by 4pm to present back to the studio.

Group 1:  Rethinking the Classroom

Group 2: Forming Places that Form Ideas

Group 3: Library Redefined

Group 4: Enriching the Learning Experience