Undergraduate students talking and laughing outside a university building

Hello Spaces Alive!

Welcome to Spaces Alive!

Thanks for visiting our new site. It’s been a busy year.  Spaces Alive brings together everything we’ve learnt from starting out with Rate My Space, new international partnerships and recent Australian projects.

The pilot

The Rate My Space app was the beginning of learning how I could bring abundant academic research on user comfort and experience in buildings out of journals and into the mainstream. The app enabled people to assess their physical workplace for comfort, health and satisfaction.

We had over 1000 people participate in the pilot which gave us fascinating data. It also opened up an exploration of institutional campuses and the challenges of property teams managing thousands of people across different buildings and spaces.

I realised partway through this journey that I didn’t want to just collect lots of data. I wanted to ensure people could use it to shift how we design and manage buildings. So I adapted, or pivoted as the startup lingo goes.

The pivot

People always provide extra detail along with their rating. These details are the stories that help us understand the relationship between people and their environment. I’ve had office staff tell me why their workspace is detrimental to innovation, students share feedback on why some classrooms are better than others and those with disabilities tell in detail why they can’t use some spaces.

When I paid closer attention to these stories, to the ‘why’, I could see a new direction. I teamed up with an amazing mentor and the person who originally inspired me to work in this field, Adrian Leaman.  Our first collaboration, the Campus Experience Survey and Scorecard is currently used by Australian universities to understand and improve student experience.  

We’ve also got our first Campus Whisperer whitepaper published for universities. 

The future 

We can create more diverse spaces that are sustainable, useable and flexible. But we have to think differently about our buildings. 

That’s why I’ve been working on different methods to help companies see the physical spaces through the eyes of users. We’ve worked with universities across Australia and a range of corporates.  I’ve joined Fitwel as an ambassador for healthy buildings and have another international partnership coming soon. 

We don’t have a set path navigating the future of our cities so that our environment and our health are top priorities. But we need change, and we need to challenge status quo. I’d love to talk to you if there is a change-making project we can work on. 

Let’s re-imagine our built environment.

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Dr Sam Hall

Dr Sam Hall

Sam is the founder of Spaces Alive. She's an advocate for re-imaging our cities and buildings to prepare for the future of work and study.