Type of Resources

Dissertation/Thesis

Date Created

8-5-2020

Abstract

This qualitative study was designed to explore the impact a workplace environment has on employees’ well-being and productivity. The research identified the themes of flattening, perception, unflattening, and well-being from a multidisciplinary approach including art education, fine art, architecture, medicine, philosophy, and science. Flatness is a state, a behavior that occurs when human perception and consciousness are narrowed, blocking sensory information that is not pertinent to a current task. Behavior that is perpetuated by ingrained societal systems and exacerbated by personal, professional, and financial stressors that can impact the human experience. Flattened areas are addressed in this study through a human-centered design approach that used phenomenology as a framework for analysis. Awareness developed from challenging perception, encouraged a process of unflattening toward well-being. Interpretation of themes found in the Chapter II Literature Review were used to conduct a study at a body therapeutics clinic utilizing a design-based research method that focuses on problem solving using an empirical process control procedure of (1) analyze, (2) plan, (3) design, (4) build, (5) test, and (6) deploy. A phenomenological attitude was exercised in observing and analyzing results of participant responses to the change of space and their altered perceptions. The design interventions solved functional issues for the business using iterative methods planned and carried out by the participants and facilitated by research directives. The findings aligned within the themes of flattening, perception, unflattening, and well-being and increased human-centered design benefits of productivity, creativity, collaboration, self-agency, and well-being in and out of the workplace. This research provided new data which can be used to understand how participants may react to human-centered design interventions in an established work environment.

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