34. Designing for the 5 Senses in the Workplace

Melissa is trained as an architect (both undergrad and graduate). She learned that art is differentiated from architecture by occupancy. She thinks of architecture is the art and science of occupancy. She’s spent her career transitioning from the technical parts of architecture to the part of the building that impacts the person/human/culture/interactions that are made possible by what’s carved out by architecture.

She consults primarily with corporations and helps them make workplace policy decisions that really impact their workforce. But she considers workspace to be anywhere that people work, from hospitals to schools to traditional office buildings.

Spaces that are highly occupied are serving people’s needs

Under utilization can indicate not that people don’t need space but that that particular space isn’t serving the occupant group

She believes in “fail fast” facilities management - test work environments. If they aren’t used, they aren’t working so swap it out. She sees the coworking industry as participating in this test environment - being very consumer-focused and letting the user “vote with their feet” for what works.

PodcastJamie Russo