This study explores the impact of the spatial layout of a work environment on employees’ interactions. The main research question is: How does the visual affordance of the spatial layout of a work environment influence the way employees interact? It was addressed quantitatively by means of quasi-experimental design and a cross-sectional survey design. A social interaction was selected as the unit of analysis. Spatial data was gathered through the use of a simple floor plan analysis as well as DepthmapX utilizing the theory of space syntax. Social data was collected by means of a controlled field observation (video-taping) and administration of a survey questionnaire. This study discovered that 1) visual control is an important issue to be considered in the design of work environments; 2) the theory of space syntax can be regarded as a reliable predictor of the interrelationship between spatial as well as social properties of the space; 3) results are not generalizable to other settings; 4) To achieve a robust statistical power, the unit of analysis can be set on an interaction or a spatial unit ; 5) more studies is required to identify generalizable trends on the interrelationship between spatial properties of work settings and their social attributes.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2016. Major: Design. Advisor: Julia Robinson. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 106 pages.
Role of Visual Affordance of a Spatial Layout on Human Interactions at a Work Environment.
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