Perception of privacy in a university building: The transparency paradox

Salomé A. Bentinck*, Clarine J. van Oel, Machiel J. van Dorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Informal face-to-face communication and chance encounters encourage knowledge sharing. This Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) examines how well a new building of a Dutch University Institute (DI) supported interaction and perceived privacy among faculty members. The study is designed as a qualitative research project with in-depth interviews among faculty members before and after relocation into the new building. The transparent and centrally organized floor plan supported face-to-face communication but generated a lack of privacy for faculty members. Not all perceived affordances of the design were planned. Lack of visual privacy and the sense of being controlled by others were related to the hierarchical position of teachers in this Higher Education Institute (HEI) between students and the dean, which caused tension and diminished their well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers of Architectural Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Affordance
  • Architectural design
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Post-occupancy evaluation (POE)
  • Privacy


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