Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Planning, Design, and the Built Environment

Committee Chair/Advisor

Green, Keith E

Committee Member

Green , Keith E

Committee Member

Walker , Ian D

Committee Member

Cavanagh , Ted


Dramatic transformations in the nature, place and organization of working life due to increasing sophistication and access of information technologies in the United States suggest a redesign of the work environment as a socially and technologically responsive system occupying both home and office.
This thesis examines the process of creation of an 'Animated Work Environment' [AWE]. A space in the scale of a cubicle envisioned as an environment-as-responsive-robot; an articulated, programmable interior accommodating a range of digital technologies across fluid assemblages of people working with both printed and digital materials in a variety of locations and settings, searching for a potential sensor based architecture interactivity.
As part of a transdisciplinary research team coming from the fields of Architecture, Robotics, Sociology and Human Factors Psychology, this thesis explores previous findings from surveys and ethnographic research with communities of highly educated individuals likely to be heavy users of digital technologies and translates it into the design of an animated workstation; an investigation of why, how and what computing possibilities and robotics can be translated into design patterns and possibilities for work environments, generating a new vision for working life in a digital society.
This thesis presents AWE's iterative design process, which includes the design, prototype, construction and evaluation a fully operational workspace configurable in multiple work scenarios.
In response to these conditions, this thesis proposes to answer the following questions: (1) How can Intelligent Systems, Information Technology and Robotics become design elements in the creation of work environments? (2) How to design technological spaces supporting positive human interaction? (3) What are the metrics to evaluate such a project?
This work counterpoints a vision of architecture as static space, configured for pre-determinate functions, proposing instead the creation of a real-time responsive work environment. Presenting users with the possibility to morph and change its spatial configurations according to their needs and moods. A place where the physical environment becomes subject to constant manipulation, to accommodate different use modes and spatial interactions.

Included in

Architecture Commons



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