August 2018

Workshop Principal & Founder to be Keynote Speaker for AIA Illinois Green Symposium


Workshop Principal and Founder, Jan van den Kieboom, will be the keynote speaker for the AIA Illinois Prairie Chapter’s 15th Annual Green Symposium for Central Illinois. He will speak at the University of Illinois Springfield’s brand new student union designed by Workshop Architects and Dewberry. At this growing campus, its first student union aligns with the university’s commitment to sustainability, featuring a green roof and rainwater reclamation system, and seeking LEED Gold certification. Workshop is excited that UIS has graciously opened their space for this summit; it’s an ideal backdrop for dynamic conversations around environmental and social sustainability.

An overview of Jan’s keynote presentation:

Social Fitness: A Design Driver for Architecture and Interior Design

A socially fit place is one that strengthens healthy relationships and promotes a sense of equity, inclusion, and belonging. How does one design a place to be socially fit?  The answer has two parts. The first has to do with the process by which design decisions are made. The process must be one of “inclusive placemaking.” It must reach out to as broad a constituency of building users as possible, including those who often feel marginalized or are simply unlikely to attend focus groups or planning workshops. The second part has to do with the actual design of space. Architectural space must be “thick” and “sticky.” It has to have the right mix of "magnets" that draw people in, "anchors" that entice them to stay, and "triangulators" that encourage them to meet others who are outside of their typical circle of acquaintances.

Jan van den Kieboom, principal and founder of Workshop Architects, will share the firm’s approach in creating vibrant, socially fit places. This approach is essential for creating any type of setting, including collaborative workplaces, university facilities, or public squares, for which nurturing a sense of community is essential.

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