Evolving Methods in Socially Responsive Architecture: The Future of Occupant Centered Design

As technology evolves, it propels architectural methods forward with it. Design, construction, interiors, and many other aspects of architecture continue to be greatly enhanced by technological advancement. In the last 10 years, there has also been a slow adoption of business analytics and user research tools. While these tools have initially been used for understanding building success and client satisfaction, they are increasingly leveraged to understand population demographics along with the social and cultural factors affecting the occupants of our schools. Socially responsive, user centered, and human-level research methods are taking off in the architectural world. 50 years from now, this evolution could usher in a new era of socially responsive buildings, researched from the ground-up with integrated data, analytics, and scientific methodologies to provide the best possible educational environments tailored to their unique communities. The days of one-size-fits-all schools are dwindling, and in 50 years they may be a thing of the past entirely.

Learning Objectives:
1. Review current socially responsive tools used in architecture research.
2. Gain knowledge of the evolving nature of human-centered data and how it will grow its influence on architectural practice in the next 50 years.
3. Develop comfort with the integration of research and architectural design in the project planning process.
4. Understand the intersection of educational visioning and human-centered research.

Anistasha Lightning, Director of Research & Experience Development, NAC Architecture
Tasha is an applied research psychologist who specializes in understanding the intersection of psychology and an individual’s environment. Her work focuses on building an understanding of the unique personal factors of space occupants, applying that data to responsive space planning. She has worked on research related to environmental response and socially responsive planning in both education and healthcare. Her goal is to use research and data to create more adaptive and healing environments.

Bob Gesing, AIA, Principal, National Healthcare Practice Leader, Trinity: NAC
Bob has served the health care industry for his entire professional career. Over the past 37 years, he has provided research, analytics and advisory services on over 2,000 engagements for over 150 healthcare organizations nationally and internationally. Bob’s expertise includes the use of research, analytics, experiential and clinical mapping to drive innovation and create strategies that help communities thrive. His efforts have helped health systems improve quality and more effectively plan for the future.

Liz Katz, AIA, NAC Architecture
Liz is an educational planner and architect based in Seattle, Washington. She is deeply passionate about educational architecture and believes that human-centered research is one of the keys to effective space design. Throughout her career, she has worked on all levels of K-12 projects on the West Coast and in Texas. True to her passion for integrating architecture and social understanding, she received her ALEP designation in June of 2021. 

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021

October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO