The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 19

However, when it opened its doors to employees in April 2017, Apple Park was
met with complaint and criticism, and it appeared as though Jobs had not taken into
consideration his employees' discomfort in working in an office with an open-plan
concept. It has been reported that employees were not willing to accept these working
conditions and rumors spread around Silicon Valley that employees were seeking to
quit, due to their extreme dislike for the design of the space. A major concern of the
employees was the excessive noise and distraction caused by these work surroundings,
with some executives even expressing dissatisfaction with the design. Furthermore,
research has suggested that "they were damaging to the workers' attention spans,
productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction."2
This happens more often than you would think in architectural practice. Have you
ever entered a restaurant that looks amazing, however, you could not hear the person
sitting in front of you? Or entered a study space intended for focus, but the surroundings were so distracting that you couldn't focus on learning? These examples of the
architecture hindering the usability of a space are indications that the vision of the
client or architect is interfering with - or explicitly disregarding - the human condition
within the space.
Similar issues have been touched on in architectural theory over the years, with many
claiming that space defines program, instead of the other way around. It is important
to leave room for interpretation in architecture; however, problems occur when the
client's vision differs so significantly from the needs and desires of the people using
the space that it impacts the users in a negative way. The question becomes: how
much do architects care about the living experience of those inhabiting their buildings? Many would claim that they care very much. But it should be their top priority.
Instead, when architecture is evaluated in competitions or in academic settings, it is
typically judged on originality - "being interesting" and having an innovative architectural concept, rather than enhancing the living experience of the potential occupants.
Apple Park is an example of a design where "being interesting" came at the expense
of the employees' satisfaction with their work environment. Innovation and originality are
both important aspects of design and a way to test and push new concepts, however,
the experience of the user is just as important or more important. What distinguishes
architecture from art is users' continuous occupation within the structure (my opinion,
but the line is very grey). Furthermore, there is a lack of post-occupancy evaluation of
spaces from the user standpoint to better inform future designs or possibly to leave
room to adjust the current design to match the user's needs.
In the sequel to this three-part essay, the author will discuss user experience (UX) design
and Lean Startup methodology, as they apply to architecture.
ANOSHA ZANJANI has four years of experience in the fields of psychology, neuropsychology and
psychiatry and five years of experience in art and design. She is currently pursuing a dual degree in
Masters of Architecture and Master of Science in Real Estate Development at Columbia University.
GERALD CUPCHIK is Professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His broad range of interests
encompass emotion, aesthetics, and design. He is currently conducting research using behavioural and
neuroscience paradigms in a complementary manner and writing a book about imagination.

REFERENCES
1. https://archpaper.com/2017/08/employees-unhappy-apple-campus
2. https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-open-office-trap

The Right Angle | Spring 2018 | 19


https://www.archpaper.com/2017/08/employees-unhappy-apple-campus https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-open-office-trap

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018

Message from the Board
Art & Architecture
UX and Architecture
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 4
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Message from the Board
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Art & Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 14
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 15
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 16
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 17
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - UX and Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 19
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 21
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0419
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0317
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