Episode 4

Seeing 'open plan' differently

Chris and Ian are joined by Dr Kerstin Sailer, Professor of the Sociology of Architecture at The Bartlett School, University College London, researcher, space syntax ninja, and co-founder of workspace science and design think tank Brainybirdz. Kerstin brings TWO papers to show (spoiler alert - long episode!) - 'Differential perceptions of teamwork, focused work and perceived productivity as an effect of desk characteristics within a workplace layout' (from 2021, co-authored with Petros Koutsolampros and Rosi Pachilova), and 'Providing care quality by design: a new measure to assess hospital ward layouts' (from 2020, co-authored by Rosi Pachilova).

Put simply, both papers use a space syntax technique called isovists to explore the open plan of a major tech company, then the ward and corridor layouts of hospitals - and the findings challenge perceptions and existing 'best practice' ideas of two very different open plan working environments - with clear implications for workspace design.

The Geeks are then joined all the way from Canada by the amazing Simon Iatrou for the reflection section, because James is on holiday (in Yorkshire, just for a change!)

Learn more

Kerstin on LinkedIn
Kerstin on Mastodon (her preference to Twitter)
Kerstin at The Bartlett School, UCL
Brainybirdz website
Link to office paper
Link to healthcare paper
Link to the prospect and refuge theory paper referenced in the reflection section
Simon Iatrou on LinkedIn
Magenta Associates

Full Transcript

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