Students of the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences and Bachelor in Design at IE University recently took on the challenge of improving student workspaces within IE Tower.
They conducted a study about campus experiences in IE Tower and worked to improve them by combining their knowledge and different perspectives from their programs. They worked to create new ideas to solve challenges that face students from various programs at the institution in their day-to-day use of the space within the impressive new building.
Optimized student workspaces are key to achieving success at IE University and helping students become the best they can be. By knowing more about IE Tower itself and being able to understand how design and behavioral science link, students were able come up with ideas to improve or redefine spaces that are beneficial for a range of students, no matter their program.
Two very different programs brought two very different mindsets to bear on the challenge, creating an overlapping approach that considered the issue from the broadest possible perspective.
“Networking with design students really opens our minds and helps us see how much design and behavior have in common. When I heard about the project, I was super-excited about it because, being a student here, I spent a lot of my days in IE Tower. So, thinking that I could have an impact there was really exciting for me.”—Claudia Poudereux, Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences student
The brief was simple: improve the use of workspaces in IE Tower. The reality of that was in fact a considerable challenge; students had to combine their expertise to think outside the box. Together, they identified many things they had not previously taken into consideration. Alongside the pressure and excitement of having a direct impact on their student community, a key issue that students found was that IE Tower did not share the same atmosphere as the Segovia campus, for example.
“I think that the biggest challenge for the students in this project is that it’s actually a real project; they are researching something that they are living in every day and they have to be critical about how it was created. Actually, they’re going to be presenting to the people who made this tower, and that’s going to be challenging for them.”
—Helga Josepsdottir, Processes and Design Theory Professor
One of the students’ biggest takeaways from the challenge was how much space can impact behavior. Not only the design of the structure itself but also of its signage and internal labeling, and how you are directed to each space. Each of these issues was meticulously considered by the students as they sought to make the most of a space designed for them. They rose to the challenge of identifying the purpose of each space; whether it was for studying or for socializing, had a positive impact on the approach the students would take.
Both the Bachelor in Design students and the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences students learned a lot from each other, and no doubt the building’s creators will in turn learn from them. Overall, this was an experience in which two different groups saw each other’s thought processes in action and created impactful solutions that wouldn’t have been possible without their collaboration.