We are workplace scientists, specialising in the understanding of the interplay between spatial design and organisational behaviour in working environments. We are particularly interested in how office space affects ‘Zusammenarbeit’ – that is, how people work together.
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 Spatial Design: 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 in Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities, 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 now in the creation of brainybirdz.