Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Carol Lasch, Assistant Professor of Foundation Studies | Rhode Island School of Design


Industrial designers have long incorporated user feedback into the design process, from testing designs before production to evaluating products in the marketplace. Architects andinterior designers have been a bit more reluctant to look back at their work after the contractors have finished and the fees are paid. Within the past few decades, postoccupancy evaluation (POE) has emerged as a formal method of analysis. It began with academic and government research, but it is slowly finding its way into commercial practice. With support from Haworth, I am surveying designers and facilities managers to see how POE is being used currently. The surveys ask how often POEs are proposed and conducted, what methods are used, what the goals are, and how the final data is shared.

The survey findings will help to determine whether POE remains an academic ideal, or is becoming a more common tool. The findings will help inform architects, designers and facilities managers of the scope of POE as it is practiced by their colleagues.

My paper will review the finding of the surveys and discuss the implications of postoccupancy evaluation for the design process.

Carol Lasch is an Assistant Professor in Foundation Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. Previously, she was a Professor in the Furniture Design Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design from 1994 to 1997. Carol Lasch has a B.S. Architecture from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is a registered architect and a consultant designer.

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