Understanding how people use different spaces in a building can inform design interventions aimed at improving the utility of that building, but can also inform the design of future buildings. We studied space use in an office building following a method we have designed to reveal the occupancy rate and navigational patterns. Our method involves two key components: (i) a pervasive sensing system that is scalable for large buildings, and high number of occupants, and (ii) participatory data analysis engaging stakeholders including interior architects and building performance engineers, to refine the questions and define the needs for further analyses through multiple iterations.

In this paper, we describe our method in detail, and exemplify how HCI methods and approaches can contribute to professional building design projects.

Studying Space Use: Bringing HCI Tools to Architectural Projects