Type of Document Thesis Author West Albert, Taneshia Sharnette URN etd-03242010-175940 Title Designing a Shared, Collaborative Office Space to Accommodate Young and Aging Employees Degree Master of Fine Arts Department Interior Design, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Tasuku Ohazama Committee Chair Jill Pable Committee Member Lisa Waxman Committee Member Peter Munton Committee Member Keywords
- Aging Workforce
- Job Accommodations
- Universal Design
- Workplace Design
Date of Defense 2010-03-19 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study addressed the relationship between the design of the office environment and aging workers in a collaborative office that is shared by younger employees. In both developed and developing countries, workers are staying in employed positions well beyond the traditional retirement age and changing the makeup of the workforce. With an increased aging population and many developed nations displaying negative birth rates, a growing gap between adults able to work and youth entering the workplace is forcing employers to find new ways bridge this fissure. Many industries have begun hiring employees beyond the traditional working age in order to stay competitive and to fill hiring gaps; however, with this shift in the makeup of the workforce, there has yet to be a shift in how office spaces are designed. The emphasis of this study is the manner in which office spaces are currently designed and how they can be redesigned to assist older workers within the office environment.
The objective of this study was to better understand and implement in a theoretical design, elements that assist older adults within an office environment selected for this project, located in Chicago, Illinois. The goal of this study is to create criteria for designing an office space that accommodates older workers who share an office space with younger employees. This developed criteria will then be demonstrated in a theoretical design of a space that is used by these workers. In order to develop design criteria for redesigning this office, the researcher reviewed published studies and materials focusing upon theories of current office design, ergonomics, universal design, lighting, and job accommodation. Focus group interviews with employees and customers within the target age range of 55 and older were then conducted after an interview with the head of the Human Resource division was completed. Twelve hours of onsite observations were also conducted with photographs used to document the current design and use of the office.
The result of the research was a design that met criteria developed from published literature and testimonials from employees who use the office space. The design met these criteria through a solution that focused on: how employees were grouped within the space; creating a custom and enjoyable working environment; utilizing a combination of exterior views and sunlight in the office; the combination of various types of artificial lighting sources and fixtures; and the selection of furniture and materials to accommodate older workers. This study contributed new information to the subject of aging and office environments by implementing the published theories into a specific application that is designed for older workers but flexible enough to be used by their younger colleagues.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access WestAlbert_T_Thesis_2010.pdf 9.23 Mb 00:42:45 00:21:59 00:19:14 00:09:37 00:00:49