Surveys and Anecdotal Evidence

I’m watching the “Surveys and Data” video. My question is:
Are we supposed to rely on data or anecdotal evidence during the programming phase? Or does it depend on the building type? Let’s assume you are designing a hospital, do you rely on published research, experience, or interviews with employee? What if you are planning a movie theater?


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Hey @ridlby,

Great question! First, let’s look at what the two mean. Data (sometimes seen as “empirical data”) is hard evidence. These can be tested hypotheses, gathered information, or observations. Anecdotal evidence, on the other hand, are stories or information gathered via word of mouth or in a casual (not controlled) setting. So how does that translate into a real project?

Consider the hospital: the client comes to you wanting a 100 bed hospital with unprecedented virtual visitation capabilities. You know from data that this is going to be approximately 250,000 sf (the general rule of thumb is 2,500 sf per bed, but this can swing based on department type, hospital type, etc). How are you going to plan for the virtual component, though? You’re going to need to talk to the staff (nurses, doctors, PA’s, etc) to find out how they are currently doing these and what they want it to look like in the future. Does a doctor sit in a room the size of a patient room or a small office? How many patients are they predicting to see in the future? What kind of interface do they want? You need both the quantitative and the qualitative to get an accurate picture of how to program the space.

In summary, you need to rely on both the data and anecdotal evidence in all project types.

I hope that helps!


@heatherrivera Thank you!!!

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