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1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

This program will showcase evidence of how social science research informs higher performing environments. Experts in designing, managing, and measuring the performance of workplace and retail spaces will present tangible examples of how research-driven design has proven performative outcomes for end users, occupant organizations, and their top and bottom lines. Panelists will discuss their approach to informing design and their process for measuring the performance of design based on human, social, and business outcomes. This conversation builds upon the committee’s ongoing exploration of the value of integrating social science research into the built environment disciplines.

Joanna Frank
, President & CEO; Center for Active Design
Chris Butterick, Director, Workplace Operations, LinkedIn
Komal Kehar, Architect and Design Researcher, BKSK Architects; Founder, Mira Projects
Caroline Kim, Designer and Strategist, Founder, Paperbox Projects

Moderator: Melissa Marsh, Founder & Executive Director, PLASTARC; Senior Managing Director, Savills Studley

Joanna Frank is the founding President & CEO of the Center for Active Design (CfAD), where she advances design and development practices to foster healthy and engaged communities. CfAD is the operator for Fitwel, a unique building certification that positively impacts occupant health and productivity through an integrated approach to workplace design and operations. Fitwel’s development was led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Prior to launching CfAD, Frank worked for the City of New York during the Bloomberg Administration, where her positions included Director of Active Design and Director of the NYC FRESH program. Before working for the City, Frank was a Partner at Bright City Development, LLC, where she was responsible for the development of mixed-use residential buildings using sustainable design criteria. She is a member of the American Heart Association Workplace Health Steering Committee, as well as the Urban Land Institute’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Council.

Chris Butterick is the regional director of workplace operations for LinkedIn’s Global Workplace Services organization. He oversees the delivery of facilities, services, and strategies that support LinkedIn’s mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Based in New York City, Butterick leads the team that manages workplace operations in NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Omaha, Sao Paulo, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. Before assuming his regional role, Butterick spent several years managing LinkedIn’s New York City expansion inside the Empire State Building. With creative workspace across seven floors, all of LinkedIn’s ~280k square feet have been newly developed or renovated since 2013. Before joining LinkedIn in 2013, Butterick spent seven years at GOOD, a magazine and digital media company based in Los Angeles,  where he was the Vice President of Operations and Finance, overseeing Accounting, HR, Legal, IT, and Real Estate and Facilities. He holds a B.A. in English from UCLA and lives in Brooklyn.

Melissa Marsh is Founder and Executive Director of PLASTARC, a social research, workplace innovation, and real estate strategy firm dedicated to shifting the metrics associated with workplace from ‘square feet and inches’ to ‘occupant satisfaction and performance.’ Marsh also leads the Occupant Experience discipline at Savills Studley, which leverages the tools of social science and business strategy to help organizations make more data-driven and people-centric real estate decisions. With an undergraduate degree in social science and a Master of Architecture from MIT, she is an active contributor to professional and research communities associated with the human factors and the built environment, including Worktech, AIA, CoreNet, IFMA, and EDRA.

Komal is a designer who believes that our built environment is a direct expression of collective values.  We have the power to shift beliefs, and our beliefs shift, our surroundings can be transformed to support social justice and freedom.  She has worked as a design and construction consultant for various leading fashion and beauty brands such as Aesop, Alexander Wang and Thom Browne and as a senior event production designer for Veuve Clicquot, Glamour Magazine and the Women in the World New York summit.  Komal has served as a visiting professor at Pratt Institute’s interior design department where she taught and at Parsons School of Design School department of Art and Design History and Theory.  She completed her Masters of Architecture at Parsons School of Design in 2006. She is currently completing a Masters of Arts in Design Research, Writing and Criticism at the School of Visual Arts.

Caroline is founder of Paperbox Projects, a company specializing in design strategy, design direction, and design education. She helps organizations develop insights-based design and experience strategies, and offers workshops in design thinking. Prior to establishing Paperbox Projects, Caroline was Senior Associate at Rockwell Group, where she worked in the Product Design Studio and the technology and innovation LAB. She played a key role in the design and development of Imagination Playground, a highly acclaimed innovation in playground design, and served as Director of R&D for the Imagination Playground initiative. Throughout her career, Caroline has brought her creative leadership to a diverse range of projects from physical design and creative direction, to user-centric design and brand positioning.


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Organized by
AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee
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