I am a social scientist and researcher who works at the intersection of organization and design studies.
I am Director of Research at HLW, a global architecture & design firm. I am also a Research Associate at the University of Michigan.
Below are examples of some of my current projects and initiatives.
Positive Workplace Design & Organizational Performance
As organizations increasingly want to look beyond traditional real estate metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of workplace design, I have been involved in discussions that explore metrics based on thriving and resilience. To initiate some practical discussions on how these constructs can be linked and applied, I organized an inaugural Thriving Workplace Summit at the University of Michigan in partnership with HLW & Colliers International. Since then, a beta Thriving Workplace Index has been developed and is being refined though ongoing engagements.
Detroit's Creative Sector
In February 2018, I will be co-presenting at a CoreNet event at the Lear Innovation Center in downtown Detroit. This panel discussion will trace the history of creative workplace trends to illustrate Detroit's place in the narrative of American innovation. We will discuss how the unique characteristics of the built environment in Detroit and the region can support new ways of working that will attract and retain the top creative talent in the region.
"New World of Work" Research Study
In 2012 I started a research project through the University of Michigan that studied people who belonged to coworking communities and how the experience impacted their ability to thrive at work. In the summer of 2017, we started a new phase of the study that investigates how people negotiate multiple organizational identities when they work in shared coworking settings with other professionals from various industries and job categories. Some of the work we have published to date is linked from the Writing section of this site.
"Collaboration" is one of the most over-used buzzwords in workplace planning and design discussions. The desire to increase collaboration is a driver of many workplace design projects. In an effort to help organizations understand the nuances behind its meaning and to see how common work patterns can influence the design of workplace, my colleagues and I at HLW developed a "Collaboration Index" tool to provide visual language for planning exercises. We have published about this Index in the Harvard Business Review and in a chapter from a recent book on workplace design.
Biosensor Applications in the Workplace
I'm excited to be partnering with colleagues at Multimer to pilot various applications of their biosensor technology in workplace analytics. We recently participated in an OpenIDEO challenge and got shortlisted in the process. Although our solution didn't make the final cut, we got a lot of great feedback along the way and were proud to have made it as far as we did. The things we learned are informing new ideas for future applications.
The Marketplace for Flexible Work Research Study
HLW and the UK-based Instant Group partnered on a study in the summer of 2017, which took a 360-degree, multi-stakeholder view of the flexible work marketplace (coworking, serviced offices, and flex space). We looked at the sector from the perspectives of end users, workplace operators, landlords, developers, and enterprise real estate buyers from corporate organizations to see where the needs of these various stakeholders align. We also considered the differences in how these stakeholders get value from flexible workplace service offerings. The report will be available in early 2018.