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Workplace Trends
Recording of the Week

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This week’s recording is from our 2022 Workplace Trends Research Summit.

Agile Working in a University Setting – Learning by Doing
– Sean Woulfe, Kingston University and Fiona Duggan, FiD

The Agile Working Pilot Project at Kingston University is an experiment involving 200 support staff. The learning-by-doing approach is considered research-in-action where new knowledge is created through a lived, evaluated experience. The starting point is the assumption that the future of work will be a blended mix of in-office and on-line. We know how to work effectively in-office. Covid has given us the opportunity to learn how to work effectively on-line. The Agile Working Pilot Project is about learning how to integrate both.

Sean Woulfe has been Director of Estates and Sustainability at Kingston University London for the past 7 years, having been Deputy Director prior to this. Before joining Higher Education, he spent 18 years practicing architecture. Sean is responsible for all aspects of property strategy and management, devising the vision for the estate and delivering the associated programme of work while ensuring that the estate is legislatively compliant and continues to serve the changing needs of the University efficiently and effectively. In addition, he has led the University Estate response to the Covid 19 pandemic and he is currently leading the estate response to the introduction of Agile Working. He led the procurement of the University’s new Town House, which was commissioned, designed and built under his Directorship, winning the 2021 Stirling Prize.

Fiona Duggan is founding director of FiD, a London-based consultancy set up in 2006. Using a combined background in architecture and organisational psychology, Fiona works at the place where users and buildings meet, seeking ways in which the design and use of space can support academic and/or organisational change. Over the past 33 years she has worked in teaching, research and consultancy roles across more than 200 organisations and institutions. Having gained her initial apprenticeship in workplace design at DEGW, Fiona has since worked on several workplace projects within the education sector. She has been convenor of the HEDQF (Higher Education Design Quality Forum) and was a steering group member and a co-author of the HEFCE-funded research project ‘The Case for New Academic Workspace’. She worked with Kingston University to produce the competition brief for Kingston University’s new Town House. Fiona has been involved with several educational institutions eager to use the insights gained via Covid to effectively transition to blended ways of learning and working.


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