The utilization of space in an academic environment



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The utilization of space in a large university academic department was assessed through the development of a multi-variable, multi-method information generating system. Due to the complexity of the interaction between an organization and the physical environment which supports it, data on the organizational goals, user attitudes and perceived spatial needs, and existing behavior patterns were gathered in three phases: 1) structured interview, 2) questionnaire survey, and 3) behavioral observation. Results provided information concerning departmental goals which might have implications for space utilization, allowed the assessment of user satisfaction levels with available facilities, and permitted the description of ongoing behavior patterns supported by the physical system. Considering the three bodies of data as a whole afforded some evaluation of progress toward departmental goals. General suggestions which might prove helpful in future space programming were offered. Further refinement and use of the model for assessing subsequent changes in the physical and social system of the department was encouraged.