Workshop Recognized for Research Excellence for Michigan Union Renovation

Workshop Architects earned the Environmental Design Research Association’s 2017 Certificate of Research Excellence for its social research effort, Campus Capital Framework: Mapping Meaning to Inform the Michigan Union Renovation. The EDRA CORE program is devoted to recognizing and celebrating exceptional environmental design research as applied to design projects. Under this program, Certificates of Research Excellence are issued to rigorous and impactful, practice-based design research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

The Campus Capital Framework is an online, participatory mapping survey that assessed the significance that students attribute to the Michigan Union and other important places on campus. The framework provides a means to measure student perceptions of a university’s physical campus in terms of places that help generate four forms of capital: (1) social, (2) intellectual, (3) symbolic, and (4) restorative. Results showed that the Michigan Union not only ranks among the most significant places on campus, but is also the only place that ranked among the top settings for each form of capital. These findings provided administrators and designers with a baseline measure of place meaning on campus for the Michigan Union and future campus planning projects, and a basis for future post-occupancy evaluation.

Workshop’s Brian Schermer, PhD, AIA served as principal investigator. Co-recipients of the award include Workshop's Jan van den Kieboom, AIA, Peter van den Kieboom AIA, Nick Robinson, AIA, and Sweta Meier, AIA. All recipients of CORE awards will be recognized at the EDRA48Madison conference, May 31-June 3

EDRA is a collaborative, multidisciplinary community dedicated to connecting theory, research, teaching, and practice to recognize, create and advocate for environments that are responsive to diverse human needs. Read the article for more information about the award and the organization.