|Abstract or Summary
- The research evaluated the remodeled lobby and reception office of the Linn-
Benton Housing Authority, Albany, Oregon. Programming goals identified five
needs: protect client privacy, provide for orderly queuing at the reception counter,
decrease contact time between clients and staff, and improve reception office for
attention focused tasks and for space intensive tasks. These five goals formed the
basis of a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of the lobby and reception office.
Concepts from cognitive theory and culture and methods from ethnography
and environment-behavior research were used to study public visitors and staff in
these areas. Data were analyzed according to cognitive cultural categories then
compared to criteria specified for building performance. The performance was
measured and evaluated for concordance between the criteria and performance.
Ethnographic methods provided insights into the knowledge, beliefs, and
values of the users of the study area. This information served as a measure of building
performance reflecting cultural meanings attributed to the study area; it provided
information about how visitors and staff used these meanings to mediate their
experiences within the building.
Data was compared to data from the programming study and from an earlier
series of exit interviews with public users after the remodeling was completed.
Information from the programming phase was used to develop the criteria for building
performance. Exit interviews were based on open-ended questions about activities,
impressions, and feelings about the housing authority lobby. This contributed to the
measures of performance.
Data collected for this research was based on ethnographic interviews, semi-structured
interviews, ethnographic observations, and behavior maps. These four
methods allowed triangulation of data to ensure adequate and reliable coverage of the
complexity and variety of behaviors and activities within the study area. This
information provided the major data for evaluating building performance.
The evaluations of the five programming goals indicated generally positive
results for privacy, queuing, contact with staff, and space intensive tasks. There was a
negative evaluation for attention focused tasks. Cultural meanings attributed to the
remodel design include an improved sense of self-worth, sense of confidence and trust
identified as professionalism, improved staff security, and improved valuation of