Design Education and Learning









Design Studio Desk and Shared Place Attachments: A Study on Ownership, Personalization, and Agency 

Peter Scupelli, Bruce Hanington 

Carnegie Mellon University (2)

Keywords: design studio; ownership; personalization; place attachment


Increasing numbers of students, limited space, and decreasing budgets nudge many university administrators to shift from assigned design studio desks to flexible workspace arrangements. This paper explores student attachment to the individual desk and shared spaces in a graduate design studio in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. The studio had four interconnected spaces with: individual desks, collaborative workspaces, a kitchen-social cafe area, and a distance- learning classroom. We explored student perspectives and attitudes on studio aesthetics, functionality, agency, ownership, personalization, and occupancy patterns with four methods (i.e., online survey, student class schedules, interviews, time-lapse study). Perception of ownership, personalization, and agency were greatest for individual desks. Students perceived the individual desk as a primary territory even though the administration said desks were shared hot-desks. Individual work and collaborative work occurred throughout the studio regardless of functional assignment (e.g., spaces for individual work, collaboration, classroom). 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Scupelli, P., Hanington, B. (2016). Design Studio Desk and Shared Place Attachments: A Study on Ownership, Personalization, and Agency.  Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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