Online from: 1983
Subject Area: Built Environment
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|Title:||Purpose, process, place: design as a research tool|
|Author(s):||Francis Duffy, (DEGW, London, UK), David Craig, (DEGW, New York, New York, USA), Nicola Gillen, (DEGW, London, UK)|
|Citation:||Francis Duffy, David Craig, Nicola Gillen, (2011) "Purpose, process, place: design as a research tool", Facilities, Vol. 29 Iss: 3/4, pp.97 - 113|
|Keywords:||Creative thinking, Design, Knowledge management, Office buildings, Productivity rate|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/02632771111109243 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The objective of this paper is to investigate how design variables – specifically spatial arrangements and adjacencies (which are termed “place”) – can be best deployed to improve working practices (which are called “process”) in order to help creative organisations to enhance the performance of working groups (i.e. support managerial purpose).
Design/methodology/approach – Observations of space use over time and questionnaires eliciting participants' opinions on the impact of the new spatial arrangements on working methods were used in two healthcare companies to study the outcomes of pilot projects.
Findings – The managerial objectives in both companies were to create working environments that could be used to stimulate interaction within and between diverse disciplines brought together to develop new healthcare products. Significant benefits were reported, particularly improved accessibility and collaboration within and between working groups – an important conclusion is that no individual design feature was responsible for the changes but rather the weaving together of place and process in pursuit of managerial purpose.
Research limitations/implications – The interaction of purpose, place and process has led one to conclude that methods dependent on limiting variables and controlling contexts are not appropriate for studying relationships between environment, productivity and user satisfaction. The synoptic, multivariate and interventionist Harvard Business School case study method may be more appropriate.
Originality/value – Environmental variables are far from being irrelevant to achieving improvements in organisational performance in creative organisations. However, context, purpose and process must also be taken into account.
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