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  • Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Multisensory design is a promising approach that fosters exceptional workplaces by bridging user experience demands and prioritizing both functional needs and diverse human factors. Our research explores the role of multisensory, personality-based, and strengths-based factors in creating inclusive and effective work environments that prioritize wellbeing and productivity - employing social science, behavioral psychology, and environmental design to develop evidence-based recommendations that enable more effective activity-based-working. It is generally known that organizations can accommodate diverse needs by providing a range of space types for workers to choose from based on preference and activity (also known as activity-based-working). However, simply providing an even variety of spaces is not an efficient use of space. Leveraging extensive survey data, we've developed worker profiles and uncovered new insights for environmental planning. In addition to environmental attributes (e.g. level of noise, brightness, formality, enclosure), qualities studied include Big 5 personality traits (extroversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness), individual workflow preferences (e.g. synchronous vs asynchronous communication, auditory vs visual learning), and the 34 Clifton Strengths. We hypothesize that considering the relationships between these factors and incorporating them in the design process will lead to more successful and inclusive workplaces that achieve the level of customizability workers seek while maximizing the ability for employees to thrive. Many of these design information layers are new and nascent in terms of being tested in workplaces; however, findings indicate they offer insight around how to positively influence space utilization and elevate well-being, satisfaction, and productivity. By sharing our results and methodologies, we hope to contribute to the ongoing global reassessment of offices and repurposing of existing structures, while reinforcing the need to address the relationships between human factors and environmental preferences in office redesigns.

    Multisensory design is a promising approach that fosters exceptional workplaces by bridging user experience demands and prioritizing both functional needs and diverse human factors. Our research explores the role of multisensory, personality-based, and strengths-based factors in creating inclusive and effective work environments that prioritize wellbeing and productivity - employing social science, behavioral psychology, and environmental design to develop evidence-based recommendations that enable more effective activity-based-working. It is generally known that organizations can accommodate diverse needs by providing a range of space types for workers to choose from based on preference and activity (also known as activity-based-working). However, simply providing an even variety of spaces is not an efficient use of space. Leveraging extensive survey data, we've developed worker profiles and uncovered new insights for environmental planning. In addition to environmental attributes (e.g. level of noise, brightness, formality, enclosure), qualities studied include Big 5 personality traits (extroversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness), individual workflow preferences (e.g. synchronous vs asynchronous communication, auditory vs visual learning), and the 34 Clifton Strengths. We hypothesize that considering the relationships between these factors and incorporating them in the design process will lead to more successful and inclusive workplaces that achieve the level of customizability workers seek while maximizing the ability for employees to thrive. Many of these design information layers are new and nascent in terms of being tested in workplaces; however, findings indicate they offer insight around how to positively influence space utilization and elevate well-being, satisfaction, and productivity. By sharing our results and methodologies, we hope to contribute to the ongoing global reassessment of offices and repurposing of existing structures, while reinforcing the need to address the relationships between human factors and environmental preferences in office redesigns.


    Melissa Marsh, Assoc. AIA

    Founder and Executive Director

    PLASTARC

    Melissa Marsh is Founder and Executive Director of PLASTARC, a social research, workplace innovation, and real estate strategy consultancy. Her work leverages the tools of social science and business strategy to help organizations make more data-driven and people-centric real estate decisions. Melissa combines quantitative and qualitative social science research with architectural expertise and is dedicated to shifting the metrics associated with workplace from “square feet and inches” to “occupant satisfaction and performance.” This holistic approach enables PLASTARC to recommend evidence-based interventions that make the built environment more people-centric and responsive, promoting both individual wellness and business success.

    Amy Rosen, AIA

    Sociospatial Designer

    PLASTARC

    Amy Rosen is a Sociospatial Designer at PLASTARC in New York City.  They recently served as the 2018-2019 AIAS National President, the 2019 Student Director on the AIA National Board of Directors, and a 2020-2021 At-Large Representative on the AIA Strategic Council, where they served as a Co-Convener for the Mental Health and Architecture Incubator.  They were born and raised in Los Angeles, and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2012, where they received a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Science in Sustainable Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

    Amy applies integrated design methodologies to everything they do - seeking opportunities to tie architecture into systematic and fluid urban networks. Amy is an advocate for the power of design - to inspire, to unify, and to heal - and is especially passionate about queer space theory, efficient urban water management strategies, and innovative ways to blur the boundaries between the private and public realms. Using their architectural education as a backbone, Amy actively incorporates equity and social sustainability into their design process. Amy further leverages a passion for data, research, difference, and experimentation in order to unveil innovative design strategies that empower users and ensure a more resilient future.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The commercial building landscape is in crisis mode, with 1 billion square feet currently sitting empty. But our buildings were already experiencing an existential quandary even before the pandemic-induced vacancy uptick, with end users unmotivated to engage with spaces that don't serve our needs. Aging infrastructure, stressful commutes, inflexible interiors, and one-size-fits-all spaces designed for the majority are hardly wellness-inducing--nor welcoming to minority communities, from neurodivergent individuals to those affected by physical disabilities. Moving forward, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of our communities by repositioning buildings in a manner that will drive sustainable, revolutionary change and growth. The future is in our hands, but our collective attempts to steer it in a new direction have fallen short, shaped by a reactionary approach overly reliant on quick fixes, single data points, and return-to-office mandates. Truly innovative and effective designs require a more nuanced and strategic take. IA will share a holistic framework for generating design concepts rooted in futurism and based on observation, science, and data. Audience members will learn how to leverage an all-encompassing competitive analysis tool to organize and make sense of the manifold facets impacting real estate, looking at the past and present through political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal lenses. They will discern how to filter this data through the various wellness dimensions and client values to find an intersection of wants and needs, allowing the creation of revolutionary, future-minded spatial solutions that connect all the dots. *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.

    The commercial building landscape is in crisis mode, with 1 billion square feet currently sitting empty. But our buildings were already experiencing an existential quandary even before the pandemic-induced vacancy uptick, with end users unmotivated to engage with spaces that don't serve our needs. Aging infrastructure, stressful commutes, inflexible interiors, and one-size-fits-all spaces designed for the majority are hardly wellness-inducing--nor welcoming to minority communities, from neurodivergent individuals to those affected by physical disabilities. Moving forward, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of our communities by repositioning buildings in a manner that will drive sustainable, revolutionary change and growth. The future is in our hands, but our collective attempts to steer it in a new direction have fallen short, shaped by a reactionary approach overly reliant on quick fixes, single data points, and return-to-office mandates. Truly innovative and effective designs require a more nuanced and strategic take. IA will share a holistic framework for generating design concepts rooted in futurism and based on observation, science, and data. Audience members will learn how to leverage an all-encompassing competitive analysis tool to organize and make sense of the manifold facets impacting real estate, looking at the past and present through political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal lenses. They will discern how to filter this data through the various wellness dimensions and client values to find an intersection of wants and needs, allowing the creation of revolutionary, future-minded spatial solutions that connect all the dots.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.


    Valerie Jardon, RID, IIDA, NCIDQ, Fitwel Ambassador

    Strategy Director

    IA Interior Architects

    Valerie Jardon, Strategy Director at IA Interior Architects with 18 years of design strategy experience and an Executive MBA, is a respected design industry leader pushing workplace innovation for global corporate clients. With a passion for understanding people to create purposeful spaces, her holistic research extracts emerging needs and propels companies into the future of belonging through an empathetic yet results-driven lens—fusing her design degree and business savvy to unlock the potential of places and people in the workscape.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    In a world where the environmental impact of our choices has never been more pronounced, it's time for enterprises to rethink their approach to interior design. The prevailing paradigm of "style" for interiors has by definition favored ephemeral trends, but in the face of climate change and dwindling resources, the need for a more sustainable and heritage-based approach is becoming increasingly evident. This paradigm shift prioritizes sustainable materials, embracing timeless designs, and ultimately ensuring the longevity of our planet. This presentation will focus on our need to rethink "style" in interiors from a business perspective. It is not merely a matter of aesthetics - it's a call to action for a more sustainable and responsible approach. By embracing sustainable materials and design principles, businesses and institutions can make a positive impact on the environment while creating interiors that stand the test of time. This approach aligns with the principles of environmental conservation and caters to the evolving preferences of a more eco-conscious consumer base. Our exploration of this topic will demonstrate that sustainable interior design is not just a trend - it's a legacy that will leave a lasting impression on both our interiors and the planet. *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.

    In a world where the environmental impact of our choices has never been more pronounced, it's time for enterprises to rethink their approach to interior design. The prevailing paradigm of "style" for interiors has by definition favored ephemeral trends, but in the face of climate change and dwindling resources, the need for a more sustainable and heritage-based approach is becoming increasingly evident. This paradigm shift prioritizes sustainable materials, embracing timeless designs, and ultimately ensuring the longevity of our planet. This presentation will focus on our need to rethink "style" in interiors from a business perspective. It is not merely a matter of aesthetics - it's a call to action for a more sustainable and responsible approach. By embracing sustainable materials and design principles, businesses and institutions can make a positive impact on the environment while creating interiors that stand the test of time. This approach aligns with the principles of environmental conservation and caters to the evolving preferences of a more eco-conscious consumer base. Our exploration of this topic will demonstrate that sustainable interior design is not just a trend - it's a legacy that will leave a lasting impression on both our interiors and the planet.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.


    Florencia Kratsman, ASID, NCIDQ, LEED AP

    Director of Interior Architecture

    FXCollaborative Architects

    Florencia Kratsman is the Director of Interior Architecture at FXCollaborative, a New York City-based architecture, interiors, and planning design firm. With 25 years of experience in design, programming, and space planning, Florencia's expansive portfolio includes educational, cultural, residential, workplace, and hospitality projects worldwide. As an experienced interior designer, Florencia is often crafting creative approaches to design solutions in which she prioritizes progressive design and sustainability. Her expertise and knowledge in architecture and interiors have positioned her as a global leader in strategic programming and space planning—she can uniquely shape buildings from the inside-out. Florencia has been responsible for partnering worldwide to implement innovative initiatives across industries. She is experienced in real estate analysis and data driven design. One of her strengths is implementing flexible workplace strategies and change management with a focus on efficiency, community, and user experience.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Trends Impacting 2025 and Beyond delves deep into the trends poised to reshape the built environment landscape with business and design-level insights. Leveraging the Future Today Institute's proprietary strategic foresight methodology, this session is not just a peek into the future--it's a strategic roadmap. Our exploration will cover cutting-edge trends influencing the industry, from metamaterials to AI-driven design tools, and how these advancements are set to revolutionize how we think about the places and spaces we design and build. Gain valuable insights into where the savvy investments lie, understand potential risks, and confidently navigate the rapidly evolving technological landscape. We don't stop at knowing about tomorrow, either. The presentation offers realistic, data-driven scenarios for the next 5 to 15 years and beyond, highlighting crucial implications for industry practices and strategies. As global experts in strategic foresight, we provide a unique perspective that will empower you to stay ahead in a world where change is the only constant.

    Trends Impacting 2025 and Beyond delves deep into the trends poised to reshape the built environment landscape with business and design-level insights. Leveraging the Future Today Institute's proprietary strategic foresight methodology, this session is not just a peek into the future--it's a strategic roadmap. Our exploration will cover cutting-edge trends influencing the industry, from metamaterials to AI-driven design tools, and how these advancements are set to revolutionize how we think about the places and spaces we design and build. Gain valuable insights into where the savvy investments lie, understand potential risks, and confidently navigate the rapidly evolving technological landscape. We don't stop at knowing about tomorrow, either. The presentation offers realistic, data-driven scenarios for the next 5 to 15 years and beyond, highlighting crucial implications for industry practices and strategies. As global experts in strategic foresight, we provide a unique perspective that will empower you to stay ahead in a world where change is the only constant.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.


    Mark Bryan, NCIDQ

    Senior Foresight Manager

    Future Today Institute

    Mark Bryan is a Senior Foresight Manager at the Future Today Institute and leads the Built Environment, Hospitality, Retail, Restaurants & CPG practices. He has also authored and provided insights into the Supply Chain, Logistics, and Manufacturing industries. Prior to FTI, Mark worked as a workplace strategist, designer, design researcher, and futurist for clients across the country, most recently through his role as Director of Innovation + Research and Senior Interior Designer.

    Mark’s portfolio of clients includes national foundations, global CPG companies, international associations, product manufacturers, national retail brands, higher education institutions, nonprofits, multi-family developers, healthcare systems, senior living facilities, restaurants, and large corporate clients. Mark has developed research surrounding what leaders need to know about the future of workplace culture and authored several whitepapers on topics such as co-living strategy, distance learning, and senior living facilities.

    In his work at FTI, Mark has explored the future of communities, digital interactions, supply chain and logistics, geographic cities, the workplace, immersive experiences, hotels and restaurants, design, manufacturing, urban planning, engineering, and artificial intelligence’s impact on various industries and sectors.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    It is undeniable that our world is made up of people with different sizes, shapes, levels of mobility, sensory needs, variations in cognitive processing and communication styles as well as cultural backgrounds and practices. Yet, as an industry, we have only recently begun to ramp up our efforts to design for these underserved populations more meaningfully within our public and workspaces through Inclusive Design efforts. Inclusive Design focuses on "one size fits one" through flexibility and choice to create environments that are healthier, safer, easier, more convenient, and more comfortable for everyone. To this end, it is important to investigate whether the choices and degree of flexibility provided are good choices and for whom. This program will take a deeper dive into Inclusive Design strategies for neurodivergent people, with a focus on sensory design. Knowing that an estimated 15-20% of the global population exhibits some form of neurodivergence and knowing that the prevalence of neurodiversity is only expected to rise, it's increasingly critical to understand how all spaces could be more inclusive of those who are neurodivergent. Research tells us that for many who are neurodivergent, spatial stimuli can contribute to either stress and anxiety or support focus and productivity. We'll explore differences in the ways we process information in our environments and the implications for built space. As an industry, we've only just started to uncover the impact of our design decisions on the experiences of those who are neurodivergent. We'll highlight current gaps in interior design, review sensory-based design strategies for addressing those gaps, and discuss where we believe the future of designing for neurodiversity is headed. Attendees will walk away from the program with a better understanding of Inclusive Design strategies, through the lens of sensory design, to create more effective spaces for ALL. *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17

    It is undeniable that our world is made up of people with different sizes, shapes, levels of mobility, sensory needs, variations in cognitive processing and communication styles as well as cultural backgrounds and practices. Yet, as an industry, we have only recently begun to ramp up our efforts to design for these underserved populations more meaningfully within our public and workspaces through Inclusive Design efforts. Inclusive Design focuses on "one size fits one" through flexibility and choice to create environments that are healthier, safer, easier, more convenient, and more comfortable for everyone. To this end, it is important to investigate whether the choices and degree of flexibility provided are good choices and for whom. This program will take a deeper dive into Inclusive Design strategies for neurodivergent people, with a focus on sensory design. Knowing that an estimated 15-20% of the global population exhibits some form of neurodivergence and knowing that the prevalence of neurodiversity is only expected to rise, it's increasingly critical to understand how all spaces could be more inclusive of those who are neurodivergent. Research tells us that for many who are neurodivergent, spatial stimuli can contribute to either stress and anxiety or support focus and productivity. We'll explore differences in the ways we process information in our environments and the implications for built space. As an industry, we've only just started to uncover the impact of our design decisions on the experiences of those who are neurodivergent. We'll highlight current gaps in interior design, review sensory-based design strategies for addressing those gaps, and discuss where we believe the future of designing for neurodiversity is headed. Attendees will walk away from the program with a better understanding of Inclusive Design strategies, through the lens of sensory design, to create more effective spaces for ALL.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.

    Amie Keener, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

    Design Manager

    Gensler

    Amie T. Keener, RID, IIDA, LEED AP is a registered Interior Designer and Senior Associate at Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm widely recognized as a leading collaborative design firm. Amie is a graduate of Kansas State University, where she achieved a Bachelor of Interior Architecture with specialties in furniture and product design. With more than 25 years of experience in the commercial building industry, Amie’s professional career is a dynamic blend of commercial interiors projects for energy, automotive, financial services, technology, government, and professional services firms. Currently, her focus is on furniture services, where she develops and implements furniture standards for clients, such as Devon, Cenovus, Shell, Sewell Automotive Group, Texas Instruments, Nokia, First United Bank, and Jackson Walker. With Amie’s diverse experience and creativity, she has the unique ability to simplify the contract furniture process and excels at providing guidance and logical results to support her clients and brings valuable knowledge and positive solutions to the built environment. Throughout her life, Amie has enjoyed an active lifestyle with gymnastics, cheerleading and long-distance running. After experiencing mysterious hip pain in 2014, It was determined a damaged hamstring combined with a genetic issue conspired to create a situation requiring two hip surgeries. During recovery, Amie spent several weeks confined with a brace and crutches and with years of physical therapy afterward which changed her way of experiencing and designing spaces. For more than a decade, she has been an advocate for inclusive design and has spearheaded several research projects centered around inclusive design solutions. Amie serves as co-leader of Gensler’s Firmwide Inclusive Design Network. Contact her for strategies to make interior spaces and furniture solutions more inclusive for all to thrive and enjoy.

    Meaghan Beever, DDes, LEED AP ID+C

    Design Strategist

    Gensler

    Meaghan Beever, DDes, is a Strategist at Gensler specializing in user-centered, applied design research. With more than 15 years of experience conducting both academic and practice-based research, she approaches each of her projects with a discovery mindset. Before joining Gensler, Meaghan was a research scientist at the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab where she worked on NIH-funded research with children with developmental disabilities. In 2022, Meaghan received a Gensler Research and Innovation Award for her client work in neurodiversity research. She is currently co-leading a research grant awarded by the Gensler Research Institute on the topic of neurodiversity in the workplace.

    Kirima Isler, CPABE L1

    Design Strategist

    Gensler Architecture & Design (Canada)

    Kirima Isler, CPABE L1, is a strategist at Gensler with over five years’ experience specializing in accessibility and inclusive design for architectural and design projects across various sectors. Kirima’s work ranges from building inclusive design guidelines, to performing accessibility assessments of existing workplaces, to reviewing project work throughout the design process to assess its alignment with inclusive design goals. With a background in History and Peace & Conflict Research, Kirima approaches design as a tangible way to address patterns of exclusion and inequity in our everyday practices and built environment and leverages her background in research to champion experience-based strategies throughout the design process.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This session will explain how ergonomic considerations integrate into a human-centered design process. By integrating the science of fitting furniture to the worker, designers and their clients can promote healthy workstyles that enhance safety, wellness, and satisfaction in any work environment. *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.

    This session will explain how ergonomic considerations integrate into a human-centered design process. By integrating the science of fitting furniture to the worker, designers and their clients can promote healthy workstyles that enhance safety, wellness, and satisfaction in any work environment.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.


    Steve Kooy

    Director Health & Sustainability

    BIFMA

    Steve Kooy leads BIFMA’s Health and Sustainability programs including-standard setting, advocacy, and outreach. Currently, Steve is working with BIFMA members on three standards: creating the Furniture Surfaces: Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting standard, completing the BIFMA X10.1 Ergonomics standard, and revising the BIFMA e3 Sustainability standard.

    As a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Civil/Environmental Engineering program, Steve has more than 15 years of experience as a sustainability professional in the furniture industry. Prior to joining BIFMA, Steve worked in sales and business development for Intertek – a third-party auditor, certifier, and test lab. In this role, he worked with global furniture clients to properly test and certify products to electrical, mechanical, and environmental standards.
    Steve served as Haworth’s Global Sustainability/Open Innovation Manager for many years as the built environment’s interest in green building flourished. Highlights at Haworth included: creating and driving well-being initiatives, setting sustainable design criteria for cleaner chemistry and responsible supply chains, and pursuing product certifications. WELL and LEED experience includes managing or co-managing LEED certification projects in Asia, Europe, and North America as well as piloting the WELL certification in Shanghai and Los Angeles.

    Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE, WELL AP

    Senior Workplace Advisory Manager

    HNI

    Dr. Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE, WELL AP is a Senior Workplace Advisory Manager at HNI. Lauren’s background in biomedical engineering allows her to apply human factors and ergonomics principles to the design of office furniture, and to research emerging trends in the office environment.
    Lauren is highly involved in product development and in research of emerging trends. Her goal is to ensure that the products we produce encourage healthy postures, promote productivity, and that are intuitive to use correctly for a broad spectrum of worker types, sizes, and capabilities.
    Lauren is also involved in education for our clients and end users. Lauren has taught engineering and ergonomics courses at the university level, has conducted extensive research in the field of ergonomics, and holds a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa. Lauren is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, granted by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics. Lauren is also a WELL Accredited Professional, a WELL Advisor, and a Fitwel Ambassador, and is qualified to provide guidance regarding health and wellness in the built environment.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The presentation explores the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into design processes, and its impact on creativity and efficiency. It showcases specific AI-Assisted Design tools like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, Hypar and Upcodes, which streamline tasks and open new creative avenues. Additionally, it discusses the relationship between AI-Assisted Design and user experiences across different generations, addressing challenges and opportunities while advocating for a balanced integra approach. The audience is encouraged to delve deeper into AI's potential in design through exploratory questions. *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.

    The presentation explores the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into design processes, and its impact on creativity and efficiency. It showcases specific AI-Assisted Design tools like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, Hypar and Upcodes, which streamline tasks and open new creative avenues. Additionally, it discusses the relationship between AI-Assisted Design and user experiences across different generations, addressing challenges and opportunities while advocating for a balanced integra approach. The audience is encouraged to delve deeper into AI's potential in design through exploratory questions.

    *In-person sessions will be recorded and available on-demand starting Monday, June 17.


    Jenna Clements

    Associate, Interior Design Coordinator

    Stantec Architecture & Engineering

    Jenna Clements, IIDA Associate, is an Associate, Interior Design Coordinator and is an alum of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Since embarking on her career 10 years ago, Jenna has experience in various market sectors, scopes, and a wide range of project types, cultivating a versatile skill set focused within the realms of commercial workplace, higher education, and senior living. She is driven by a passion for enhancing environments for all end-users. Her meticulous attention to detail and data processing ensures the delivery of comprehensive design solutions tailored to each client’s individual needs. She conducts projects focusing on strategic planning, programming and workplace solutions. Trained in the latest technological design tools, discovering innovative technology to implement into the design process for streamlining workflows is an emphasized interest of hers.

    At Stantec, community is at the center of one of the missions. Jenna has been involved with the local industry organizations and local collegiate design community to foster mentoring with real world design experience, to keep community at the fore front of design.

    Kelsey Ziegler, NCIDQ, CHID, EDAC, LEED Green Associate

    Associate, Medical Planner, Interior Designer

    Stantec Architecture & Engineering LLC

    Kelsey Ziegler NCIDQ, CHID, EDAC, LEED Green Associate is a graduate of La Roche University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and a minor in Marketing. Kelsey is a problem solver who takes pride in finding thoughtful and innovative solutions to challenging design problems, no matter what phase the project is in. As a Medical Planner and Interior Designer with Stantec, Kelsey has more than 13 years of experience of designing spaces that help promote healing and well-being for patients, staff, and visitors alike while ensuring these spaces meet the functional and safety requirements that healthcare facilities demand. Trained in Lean Six Sigma practices, Kelsey works closely with providers, nurses, and other healthcare staff members to understand their needs and workflows to implement the client’s goals through successful designs.

    Due to Kelsey’s passion for community and mentorship she has been involved in several local industry organizations. She has served as Student Representative to the Board and Professional Development Director for ASID PA West, as well as a board member and President of the La Roche University’s Design Advisory Board.

    Sydney Strugaru, NCIDQ

    Associate, Interior Designer

    Stantec Architecture & Engineering LLC

    Sydney Strugaru is licensed Interior Designer and graduated from Ohio University in 2019, where she majored in the CIDA Accredited Interior Architecture (BFA) program. While at Stantec, Sydney has been mainly involved in commercial workplace and large industrial manufacturing and distribution projects. She strives to design spaces that support the diverse processes and functions her clients require - from wealth management to battery manufacturing.

    From project start to project closet out, Sydney manages, designs, and organizes projects with ease and grace, bringing new strategies and ways of thinking to the project team. She is a well-rounded team player and fosters a collaborative environment across all disciplines of a project. Her strong documentation skills and attention to detail allows her to think ahead well beyond the current phase at hand. She has experience in all aspects of project delivery including finish selection, construction drawings, construction administration, multi-discipline coordination, project close out, programming, space planning, furniture selection and specification, visualization, and project and account management. Her constant curiosity and willingness to help with any aspect of the design process makes her an exemplary asset to any project.

    Zach Skala

    Interior Design Coordinator

    Stantec Architecture & Engineering LLC

    Zach Skala serves as an Interior Design Coordinator at Stantec Architecture and Engineering, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an alumnus of Kent State University, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design, complemented by a minor in Construction Management, in the year 2022. Accumulating approximately three years of professional experience within the design realm, Zach has actively contributed to a diverse array of projects spanning across various scales and sectors, encompassing residential, commercial, healthcare, and industrial domains.

    Over his emerging career, Zach has cultivated a strong appreciation for the preliminary phases of design research and its subsequent implementation. His involvement in projects has provided him with comprehensive proficiency across the entirety of the project life cycle, from initial programming and documentation, through spatial planning, rendering, construction documentation, finish selection, and onto construction administration and project closure protocols.

    Of notable significance is Zach's dedication to ensuring that interior spaces are meticulously tailored to positively impact the human experience. His dynamic approach involves a keen interest in collaborating closely with end-users, thereby fostering a supportive interior environment conducive to enhancing occupants' well-being and overall satisfaction.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    In 2017, scientists discovered the "body clock" gene, revealing that humans are born with one of three chronotypes: morning, intermediate, and evening. This session discusses a relatively unexplored topic--how the modern workplace experience, from organizational structure to physical space, impacts our circadian rhythms and chronotypes. Sleep is essential for survival and cognitive functioning. Lack of sleep due to deprivation, restriction, disorders, or misalignment of chronotype-to-workplace schedules is associated with adverse mental and physical health outcomes. Fatigue in the workplace can impact decision making, memory, reaction time, efficiency, safety, and overall performance. These outcomes can have significant financial impacts on the organization, industry, and economy. Ensuring the workplace environment is ideal for alertness and reduction of fatigue means providing adequate and proper lighting, humidity and noise control, and ergonomic design of furniture. Given the impact of sleep loss on individual employees and organizations, increased attention to chronotypes and their relationship with the workplace should be a priority for researchers, leaders, organizations, architects, and designers. This session will dive into the importance of understanding chronotypes and implementing strategies to better accommodate and support employees. By recognizing the diverse chronobiological patterns inherent in individuals, designers can learn to tailor spaces to accommodate and enhance the well-being and productivity of employees.

    In 2017, scientists discovered the "body clock" gene, revealing that humans are born with one of three chronotypes: morning, intermediate, and evening. This session discusses a relatively unexplored topic--how the modern workplace experience, from organizational structure to physical space, impacts our circadian rhythms and chronotypes.

    Sleep is essential for survival and cognitive functioning. Lack of sleep due to deprivation, restriction, disorders, or misalignment of chronotype-to-workplace schedules is associated with adverse mental and physical health outcomes. Fatigue in the workplace can impact decision making, memory, reaction time, efficiency, safety, and overall performance. These outcomes can have significant financial impacts on the organization, industry, and economy. Ensuring the workplace environment is ideal for alertness and reduction of fatigue means providing adequate and proper lighting, humidity and noise control, and ergonomic design of furniture.

    Given the impact of sleep loss on individual employees and organizations, increased attention to chronotypes and their relationship with the workplace should be a priority for researchers, leaders, organizations, architects, and designers. This session will dive into the importance of understanding chronotypes and implementing strategies to better accommodate and support employees. By recognizing the diverse chronobiological patterns inherent in individuals, designers can learn to tailor spaces to accommodate and enhance the well-being and productivity of employees.


    Sarah Wicker

    Branded Environments, Principal

    Perkins&Will

    Principal and director of branded environments in the Dallas studio of Perkins&Will, Sarah Wicker leads a multidisciplinary team working with designers to translate the essence of clients’ brands into memorable and engaging experiences. A deeply strategic thinker, she has an intrinsic drive to understand human motivation and connection to place. She believes that great design starts with understanding people, a belief backed up by more than 20 years in brand strategy, trend forecasting, human-centered design, and applied research.

    Raised in Texas, Sarah has worked with developers, municipalities, and major brands around the globe. She is a frequent contributor to industry publications, a repeat speaker at ICSC, ULI, and AIA conferences, and—deepening her research into behavior and identity—she recently finished a master’s degree in psychology at Harvard University. Curious and energetic, Sarah finds guidance in empathy.

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    NeoCon Presentation Description: and ECO-nomic sense! There is a growing community of facility managers working together to drive sustainable change in the commercial furniture industry. In this value-driven session, we will share insights and best practices from kimiko green's roundtable discussions that include many fortune 500 global organizations. Founding members Dianne Murata and Jenny McMath will share financial scenarios including a case study from 8 million sq ft facility Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that support sustainable furniture practices and make a case for circular furniture programs. Over the last three years LANL has purchased millions of $ in new interior products with a focus on sustainable and high-quality interior furnishings. However, it is only the beginning of their goal to maximize it's useable life and landfill diversion. Sustainable commercial furniture, if well maintained and warrantied, can last well beyond the accounting depreciation of the asset, ultimately saving taxpayer and/or organizational dollars. Waste reduction and keeping commercial furniture out of landfills has multiple environmental benefits, but implementing circular practices also makes great financial sense--whether planning and managing 8 million square feet or 8,000 square feet.

    NeoCon Presentation Description: and ECO-nomic sense! There is a growing community of facility managers working together to drive sustainable change in the commercial furniture industry. In this value-driven session, we will share insights and best practices from kimiko green's roundtable discussions that include many fortune 500 global organizations. Founding members Dianne Murata and Jenny McMath will share financial scenarios including a case study from 8 million sq ft facility Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that support sustainable furniture practices and make a case for circular furniture programs. Over the last three years LANL has purchased millions of $ in new interior products with a focus on sustainable and high-quality interior furnishings. However, it is only the beginning of their goal to maximize it's useable life and landfill diversion. Sustainable commercial furniture, if well maintained and warrantied, can last well beyond the accounting depreciation of the asset, ultimately saving taxpayer and/or organizational dollars. Waste reduction and keeping commercial furniture out of landfills has multiple environmental benefits, but implementing circular practices also makes great financial sense--whether planning and managing 8 million square feet or 8,000 square feet.


    Dianne Murata

    Founding Principal

    kimiko designs

    Dianne Murata is the founding principal of kimiko designs, a team of furniture planning, specification and technology experts specializing in commercial furniture projects. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Dianne has led kimiko as an industry innovator and visionary builder of exceptional teams since 1999. Her passions are keeping used office furniture out of the landfill and rescuing pups from the puppy-mill.

    Joanna Friesen Toler, PMP

    VP, Construction and Design Manager - Corporate Real Estate & Facilities

    Amegy Bank

    Joanna Friesen Toler is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is the Space, Design & Construction Manager for Amegy Bank, overseeing 1.2 million square feet of office space in Texas and Utah. Her responsibilities include space and utilization studies supporting the bank’s real estate strategies and overseeing office and retail projects.

    After graduating from Texas A&M in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution, Joanna began her career in sales before finding her way to a Houston-based interior architecture firm. While there, she consulted on several large campus projects for domestic and international clients in various industries. Joanna is an advocate for sustainable facility practices and believes that we, as facility owners and managers, have a responsibility to be good stewards of our real estate. She is a steering committee member of Kimiko Green, a community of facilities and real estate leaders committed to solving the problem of 17 billion pounds of office assets dumped into US landfills every year.

    Joanna spends all of her free time with her husband, toddler daughter, and giant rescue dog. They reside in Houston, Texas, and currently are in the throes of the threenager phase. Her passions include the efficient use of real estate, rockin out to live music, and hanging out in rivers with her family and friends

  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Do you think keeping commercial furniture out of the landfill has to be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated? Spoiler alert: It does not! In this session we will talk a lot of trash and in the process, we will debunk the common myths and reveal creative cost- and time-saving truths about sustainable furniture decommissioning. Kimiko Green is a community of facility owners and managers who have taken a deep dive into the challenges of decommissioning commercial furniture in a responsible and sustainable way. Through a series of roundtables, conversations, research and case studies (+ several gallons of coffee), the collective has identified 5 practical strategies that you can implement to improve furniture circularity within your own organization. Building on these foundational strategies, this action-packed session includes real world examples of landfill diversion that aren't expensive, don't require significant time or resources and are simple efforts that, when combined, can significantly move the needle towards more sustainable ff&e programs. This session aims to provide you and your organization with true inspiration, preparation, and practical knowledge needed to divert commercial furniture from the landfill--all while saving time, money, and stress.

    Do you think keeping commercial furniture out of the landfill has to be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated? Spoiler alert: It does not! In this session we will talk a lot of trash and in the process, we will debunk the common myths and reveal creative cost- and time-saving truths about sustainable furniture decommissioning. Kimiko Green is a community of facility owners and managers who have taken a deep dive into the challenges of decommissioning commercial furniture in a responsible and sustainable way. Through a series of roundtables, conversations, research and case studies (+ several gallons of coffee), the collective has identified 5 practical strategies that you can implement to improve furniture circularity within your own organization. Building on these foundational strategies, this action-packed session includes real world examples of landfill diversion that aren't expensive, don't require significant time or resources and are simple efforts that, when combined, can significantly move the needle towards more sustainable ff&e programs. This session aims to provide you and your organization with true inspiration, preparation, and practical knowledge needed to divert commercial furniture from the landfill--all while saving time, money, and stress.


    Dianne Murata

    Founding Principal

    kimiko designs

    Dianne Murata is the founding principal of kimiko designs, a team of furniture planning, specification and technology experts specializing in commercial furniture projects. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Dianne has led kimiko as an industry innovator and visionary builder of exceptional teams since 1999. Her passions are keeping used office furniture out of the landfill and rescuing pups from the puppy-mill.

    Joanna Friesen Toler, PMP

    VP, Construction and Design Manager - Corporate Real Estate & Facilities

    Amegy Bank

    Joanna Friesen Toler is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is the Space, Design & Construction Manager for Amegy Bank, overseeing 1.2 million square feet of office space in Texas and Utah. Her responsibilities include space and utilization studies supporting the bank’s real estate strategies and overseeing office and retail projects.

    After graduating from Texas A&M in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution, Joanna began her career in sales before finding her way to a Houston-based interior architecture firm. While there, she consulted on several large campus projects for domestic and international clients in various industries. Joanna is an advocate for sustainable facility practices and believes that we, as facility owners and managers, have a responsibility to be good stewards of our real estate. She is a steering committee member of Kimiko Green, a community of facilities and real estate leaders committed to solving the problem of 17 billion pounds of office assets dumped into US landfills every year.

    Joanna spends all of her free time with her husband, toddler daughter, and giant rescue dog. They reside in Houston, Texas, and currently are in the throes of the threenager phase. Her passions include the efficient use of real estate, rockin out to live music, and hanging out in rivers with her family and friends