I teach architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and I am a principal at Workshop Architects, a nationally recognized firm that specializes in the design of higher education and “uncorporate” work environments. These roles afford me the unique opportunity to conduct and apply environmental design research in both academic and professional realms. At UWM, I get to teach some amazing students, many of whom you already know or will get to know through EDRA. Workshop’s research efforts are especially exciting because we are constantly refining tools and frameworks to better understand college campuses and workplaces as social ecologies. Environment-behavior research is a foundational to our design approach and key to our success. Several of my current and former students work at the firm, so going there often feels like a reunion.
Speaking of reunions, attending the annual EDRA conference is exactly that. It’s a great place to connect and reconnect. Through EDRA, I have met many people who have been instrumental in helping me shape my career. I consider them and many other members to be close friends.
I sometimes wish that we as an organization could develop a more subtle understanding of the connections between research and design. It seems easier to grasp a concept like “evidence based design” than it is to wrap our heads around an idea like “design based evidence.” Yet, both are essential. I am happy to chat with anyone about this. See you at the conference in Los Angeles!