This week we talk to Dr. Michelle Samura, Associate Professor of Education and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at Chapman University about her groundbreaking research on building belonging.
Listen and see how Michelle’s latest research, The Architecture of Belonging, is helping companies create better workplaces for our very diverse workforce.
This podcast series engages industry-famous experts to join host Kevin Steinberger (@kevinjsteinberger) to talk about the stuff that’s changing the face of the way we work.
#RealEstate, #Workplace, #Facilities, #HR, and #IT -- all of these traditionally siloed departments are combining forces to build a future office like you’ve never seen but need to hear about.
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
Kevin: That's fantastic and thank you. It is very refreshing now to see the combination of different tactics and different research that is actually shaping and molding the trends for offices. And I'm seeing it now where we're starting to see even speakers from even the retail and the hospitality sector that are putting a massive influence and working with their corporate real estate teams, outfits and renovations and how that sort of all comes down to creating better human experience within these spaces. I've mentioned this before, Michelle, you do bring something very special to this conversation and you are, I would say one of our, in my eyes, one of our out of the box titled speakers at the show. And with saying that as a dean and an academic who is sought after for speaking engagements, obviously elsewhere obviously from myself for this conference, how does your specific role and your title mesh with the corporate real estate workplace and HR sector?
Michelle: Well, I'm glad you asked that because I could imagine as people are scrolling through speaker bios and seeing some incredible speakers and workshop leaders who are industry giants, VPs, and HR and workplace strategy of facilities and corporate real estate. And then all of a sudden they get to an associate professor and associate dean of education and I'm sure people are wondering what I'm doing in this space. And so I'm glad I have an opportunity to address that. So I'm drawn to the spaces in between, so in between disciplines, in between institutions, in between groups, and I really enjoy making unconventional connections. In fact, recently I've been involved in some exciting work to bring together leaders from the education community and business community here in Orange County in order to develop and retain local talent across multiple sectors in order to continue to ensure a thriving economy in our region.
But for my research, my interest in making these unconventional connections has meant drawing upon and combining insights and approaches from typically disparate fields such as education, geography, visual sociology. I use photography and image analysis as a method, urban planning, architecture and design in order to understand the development of belonging and community. My in-betweenness also has meant that my research insights can inform a number of contexts, certainly the traditional educational settings such as classrooms and campuses, but also as you stated workplace settings including the corporate real estate and HR world. And I know I bring a different perspective to the corporate world with insights that not only address the interplay between the physical environment and social interactions, but also give serious consideration to diversity. And so, while there's certainly a compelling body of research that clearly indicates the benefits of diversity and a range of settings including educational settings in workplace settings to name a few, organizations of all sorts still struggle how to develop inclusive environments.
By using this spatial approach, my research offers both a way to under