We are workplace scientists, specialising in the understanding of the interplay between spatial design and organisational behaviour in working environments.
We are scientific in our thinking and approach – we use data to help us diagnose how a workplace ticks and what role design plays in this. Our research and analysis is informed by an in-depth knowledge of the existing academic research in this field. We don’t make faith-based arguments.
We like to work in partnership with people who are interested in the same honest scientific endeavour that we are and who want help to delve into tricky problems that relate to spatial design and behaviour in organisations that are not currently well understood. Whilst our approach is primarily data driven, that doesn’t mean that we use an out of the box methodology. All our work is bespoke, developed to meet the needs of the people and organisations we are partnering with.
In addition to our client project work, we also offer workplace science master classes for practitioners and end users.
Kerstin is a German architect by training, but has never built a single house. Early on her interest has been in the social side of architecture and how space affects what people do. A sociologist at heart and a lover of all things data, her research focuses on understanding human behaviours in buildings. Workplaces in particular were the focus of her PhD from the Technical University of Dresden, which investigated the ‘Space-Organisation-Relationship’. She first came to London as a visiting PhD student and soon after joined an architectural practice, Spacelab, where she built up their workplace consultancy process, based on a rigorous research methodology. London has never let her leave again. For more than 10 years, she has been consulting organisations while at the same time developing an academic career at UCL, where she is Reader in Social and Spatial Networks. She teaches on the MSc programme Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities, where she first met brainybirdz Co-Founder Ros Pomeroy.
Ros has always been a scientist at heart and fascinated with how things work. She must have been one of the few girls growing up in the UK in the 1970s with her own Chemistry and Meccano sets. Studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College was a natural step. But finding herself dissatisfied with the prospect of sitting in a male dominated design drawing office for the rest of her career, which ignored the commercial realities of how organisations and businesses work, she took 2 years out to do an MBA at London Business School and then embarked on a period of more than twenty years working in both the Media and Telecoms sectors in business strategy, organisation development, change management and executive coaching. That quest for finding out ‘how things work’ never went away though, which is why in 2010 she went ‘back to school’ at UCL to study for an MSc at the Bartlett School of Architecture, expressly to learn about the evolving field of human behaviour in buildings. With her years of end user business experience very much to the fore, this has lead to a fruitful collaboration with Kerstin Sailer. Firstly at Spacelab architects, where Ros took over Kerstin’s role to further develop the workplace consultancy practice, working with a string of high profile clients to analyse and recommend new design strategies to support the clients’ business agendas. And since 2016 in the creation of brainybirdz.
Dr Matt Thomas
Matt joined Brainybirdz in 2019 shortly before completing his PhD. His research work seeks to better understand the impact of physical space on management and organisational outcomes and Brainybirdz founders, Kerstin and Ros, introduced Matt to Space Syntax and its scientific treatment of space.
Matt studied Civil Engineering at University and received an MBA from London Business School in the late 1980’s. Over the next 25 years he pursued a career in business holding senior roles in two multinational plc.’s; starting, building and selling his own business; and working for an international strategy consultancy. Matt then made the decision to return to university full time in pursuit of a PhD and is currently a Lecturer in Strategic Management, Innovation, Strategic Change, Corporate Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions at Birmingham University Business School.
Rositsa is an architect by training and recently finished with her PhD at UCL where she investigated how hospital ward layouts influenced work processes and communication patterns of healthcare providers and how this affected the quality of care provided to patients. before commencing with her doctorate, she did an MSc in Space Syntax: Architecture and cities at UCL and worked for a few workplace consultancies in London. Rositsa first met Kerstin in 2011 during her master’s degree course and since then collaborate with her on a number of projects. Together with Kerstin, Rositsa recently won the RIBA President Award for Research in the annual theme ‘Building in Quality’.
Rositsa joined brainybirdz in 2019 to help Ros and Kerstin apply scientific thinking to workplace design.