Forging synergies - today's ubiquitous goal

Ask any organisation how they're looking to add value. The words you'll hear are 'serendipity', 'chance meetings' + 'cross-fertilisation'. Judge any workplace award + what you'll see is design intended to promote these encounters. But the only way to learn if + how synergies are actually forged, is through research at the coalface. ZZA has long studied just this. Our latest research is with staff in two organisations of the UK Parliament, to learn if + how sharing a building has influenced collaboration, and explore what the occupants see as as relevant to working still more smartly.

Only connect - research story

ZZA recently studied research in a new academic setting conceived to facilitate knowledge transfer. Our Post Occupancy Evaluation at LSE LIFE, a linked suite of spaces forming a curated learning environment in the London School of Economics' main Library, is 'now published in summary form.

Betwixt cup + lip: academia + practice

What do we learn from the respective domains of practice + academia? ZZA has always bridged the two, undertaking rigorous empirical research to inform well-grounded practice + design strategy. Ziona Strelitz combines these perspectives in a new paper + presentation for the Conference on Professional Practices in the Built Environment at the University of Reading. In Spaces for interaction: empirical evidence on spatial realities versus supplier mantra, she challenges widespread procurement assumptions with critical insight drawn from research, citing spatial conditions that promote interaction in practice.

In 'The Physical Workplace and Work-Life Balance', recently published in Work-life balance in times of recession, austerity and beyond, Ziona addresses the aspects that really matter in healthy workplace environments, including the questions of whether + how these change in more stringent times.

With rising interest in wellbeing, workplace 'greening' - aka biophilia - is increasingly evident. Upper left: two of the many planted settings at Sky's new HQ in Osterley. Bottom left: the newly planted 'outdoor breakout space' to complement the light-filled interior of the iconic Schlumberger Building (lower left).Top right: the green atrium wall in Cambridge Conservation Initiative's (CCI) excellently remodelled building. Middle + bottom right: verdant aspect from the Sainsbury Laboratory, which maximises views to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
All images © ZZA Responsive User Environments, except Sainsbury Laboratory © Stanton Williams.

Highlights 2016

responsive user environments