Stanford University designated “building 550” as the appropriate location to house three of its premier design-thinking groups – The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (known as the d.school), the Stanford Center for Design Research (CDR) and the Design Group of the Mechanical Engineering Department. The challenge was to create an innovative and collaborative space for faculty, students and other design partners that supported each group’s “indigenous” culture while encouraging the cross-pollination of ideas and approaches to design-thinking.
Designing the “right” space required an ethnographic approach. We honed our listening skills to understand each group’s desired behaviors — designing the space to support and facilitate cultural continuity while accommodating desired behavioral change.
As a member of the MKThink team, Alesha contributed to the collective development of the design for a retrofit of the historic Stanford Peterson Building to allow faculty, students and other design partners to work together in highly flexible spaces that maximize innovative thinking and collaboration. The building boasts natural light through a 2-story atrium and is anchored by exposed and restored original stucco and facades. Amidst other accolades, the project was honored by the Palo Alto Stanford Heritage Organization with the 2011 Rehabilitation Award, and the d.school’s “Idea Lab” was featured in Fast Company magazine.
Palo Alto, CA
Stanford Interdisciplinary Design Center Master Plan: d. School, Design Group, and Center for Design Research
Cody Anderson Wasney architects (core + shell)
Renderings above courtesy of MKThink | Cody Anderson Wasney Architects
I have had the great pleasure of working with Alesha for over a decade delivering new-vision projects through MKThink’s strategy, planning and architectural design process. As a senior collaborator, Alesha has delivered unique insight into the many factors that impact human and organizational performance. Alesha’s ability to identify and communicate the necessary alignment of social and cultural overlays unique to a particular organization’s success has proven to consistently be a high value-add to our project teams and ultimately to our clients. As a firm that specializes in optimizing physical environments to better serve high performance organizations, I have the greatest respect for Alesha’s valuable contributions to our work.