Living in a pod: the impact of tiny spaces on a Dutch university campus

Johan Offringa, Anke Roos-Mink, Marc A. Roosjen, Mark P. Mobach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

Background and aim – In practice, phone pods and office booths, hereafter referred to as pods, have proven their added value and popularity in open-plan offices. How would that work in another context, such as in higher education? This study explores use and user perceptions of these pods in an atrium on a Dutch university campus.
Methods / Methodology – After placing nine pods, the effects were studied through document analysis, guest journey, direct observation (behaviour, indoor climate, bacteria, fungus), interview, and survey.
Results – Students use the pods mainly for seven activities: meeting, project work, noise-free work, study, phone call, relaxation, or hang out. Students report a positive general experience of the pod, a very positive experience when entering the pod, and hardly any negative experiences. They feel at ease and the pods ensure better concentration. Finally, pod users reported to be a little less nervous than other atrium users.
Originality – The studied pods are mostly applied in open-plan offices. By placing them in an atrium at a Dutch university campus the pods are exposed to different users, generating new user-related findings.
Practical or social implications – In order to perform well, students need a variety of places on campus. An atrium is normally crowded, loud, and noisy. Pods provide an extra option, a space within a space, that students use and appreciate. By adding these tiny spaces to their repertoire, universities seem to be better aligned with user needs. Facility managers and researchers could consider experimenting with pods in other lively contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages25-32
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2020
EventEuropean Facility Management International Conference (EFMIC) 2020, EuroFM Network, 1 October 2020, online conference - Online
Duration: 1 Oct 20201 Oct 2020
https://eurofm.org/

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Facility Management International Conference (EFMIC) 2020, EuroFM Network, 1 October 2020, online conference
Abbreviated titleEFMIC
Period1/10/201/10/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • campuses
  • design

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