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Placemaking for a Cause : Exploring Student Interests in a UBC Interactive Sustainability Centre Koss, Jennifer; O’Leary, Devin; Pizandawatc, Winter; Power, Cameron; Van Bussel, Tecla 2020-03-18

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program Student Research Report         Placemaking for a Cause: Exploring Student Interests in a UBC Interactive Sustainability Centre Jennifer Koss, Devin O’Leary, Winter Pizandawatc, Cameron Power, Tecla Van Bussel University of British Columbia Course: PLAN 522 Themes: Buildings, Climate, Wellbeing Date: March 18, 2020       Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student research project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”. Placemaking for a Cause: Exploring Student Interests in a UBC Interac<ve Sustainability Centre Executive Summary  INTRODUCTION The Alma Mater Society (AMS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is looking to create an                                 Interactive Sustainability Centre (ISC) with the intent of encouraging community cohesion                     around sustainability issues. This research project, conducted by five School of Community and                         Regional Planning graduate students, aimed to understand student interests for the ISC space​.                         The project's key research question was:  How can an interactive space in a student centre facilitate the sharing and uptake of innovative ideas in sustainability on campus?  REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE Literature on interactive and sustainable infrastructure and design, as well as case studies of                           interactive spaces at UBC and elsewhere, provided useful framing for the research design.  METHODOLOGY Employing an ​iterative qualitative research approach ​to collect both verbal-textual and                     visual-spatial data, the research team ran two (2) focus groups with a total of ten (10) participants                                 to hear from the UBC Vancouver campus student population about their interests in the ISC                             physical design and programming, as well as outcomes of the space.  KEY FINDINGS Focus group participants were keen to share their perspectives for the ISC. The verbal-textual                           data from discussions on sustainability and interactive spaces and the visual-spatial data from the                           participatory drawing exercise, where participants could creatively express their ideas for the                       space, yielded ​findings that were interrelated and connected across the focus groups​.  ANALYSIS & RESULTS Some of the key themes from the focus group discussion and participatory exercise include:                           Idea-generation, Student-driven, Transparency, Inclusivity, Collaboration, Functionality, and             Flexibility​. Recommendations for AMS on ISC implementation include short (physical design -                       open and flexible space), medium (programming - creating a “ladder of engagement”) and                         long-term (continued student involvement in ISC operations) actions.   CONCLUSION The research team reflected on the nature of the project, including limitations and strengths. The                             research team also concluded that in order to make the implementation of the ISC a success, AMS                                 should prioritize additional ​engagement with students and sustainability groups​.   2  Acknowledgements The research team acknowledges that the work of this project was undertaken at the Vancouver                             campus of the University of British Columbia, which is built on the ancestral and unceded territory                               of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people. As planning students, we acknowledge that to                         bring about decolonial futures we should strive to develop meaningful and committed                       relationships with Indigenous peoples in any future work that we do.  The research team would like to thank: ● The focus group participants, for sharing their open and genuine perspectives with us; ● The AMS project team - Ian Lin (Sustainability Project Coordinator), Dani Stancer                       (Associate VP Sustainability), and Michael Kingsmill (AMS Designer) - for providing                     guidance on their vision for the project; ● Jonathan Kew, SEEDS project coordinator, for providing valuable advice and support                     during the project; and ● The rest of our PLAN 522 cohort, for sharing the challenges and successes of the                             experience of this research process together. Other Notes This research project was undertaken to fulfill the requirements of PLAN 522 - Qualitative Data                             Collection and Analysis (from January to March 2020), taught by Dr. Leonora C. Angeles at the                               School of Community and Regional Planning, in the UBC Faculty of Applied Sciences.  Research team members: Jennifer Koss Devin O’Leary Winter Pizandawatc Cameron Power Tecla Van Bussel  The Behavioral Research Ethics Board at UBC assigned the Research Ethics Certificate H13-02781 for this project.   3  List of Acronyms, Tables, and Figures  Acronym  Description UBC  University of British Columbia AMS  Alma Mater Society SEEDS  Social Ecological Economic Development Studies ISC  Interactive Sustainability Centre GECA  Good Environmental Choice Australia  Table  Description  Page 1 Principles of the emerging typology of inviting landscapes used to inform the focus group design of the ISC Project. 16  2 Organizational details of focus groups conducted in the ISC Project. 18  Figure  Description  Page 1 Relationship of the research question to the research goal and the AMS project vision. 8 2 Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. 12 3  The interactive Materials in Mind Pod.  13 4  The GreenSpace Kiosk at Princeton University.  13 5 Visual explanation of the ISC Project’s iterative approach to research design and analysis. 15 6 Graphic representation of the ISC Project focus group design, demonstrating how the research questions link to the verbal-textual data and visual-spatial data collection elements of the focus group. 17 7 Visual explanation of the ISC Project’s iterative approach to data analysis. 19 8  Participatory drawing exercises from the focus groups.  25 4  9 Renderings for the proposed ISC with (a) a glass enclosure, (b) no partition, and (c) a wooden partition. 26 10 Conclusive themes focus group participants want to see represented in the ISC. 28 11  Ladder of Engagement for Users of the ISC.  33    5  TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary 2 Acknowledgements 3 Other Notes 3 List of Acronyms, Tables, and Figures 4 1.0 INTRODUCTION 7 1.1 Project Context 7 1.2 Purpose of Client Engagement 7 1.3 Research Goals and Objectives 7 1.4 Research Questions 8 2.0 REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE 10 2.1 Literature and Information Context 10 2.2 Case Studies of Interactive Spaces 11 Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, UBC 11 Materials in Mind Pod, Good Environmental Choice Australia 13 Green Kiosk, Princeton University 13 3.0 METHODOLOGY 14 3.1 Research Methodology 14 3.2 Focus Group Process and Design 15 3.3 Data Analysis Methodology 18 4.0 KEY FINDINGS 21 4.1 Verbal Textual Data 21 4.2 Visual Spatial Data 24 5.0 ANALYSIS & RECOMMENDATIONS 28 5.1 Themes 28 5.2 Takeaways 31 5.3 Actionable Recommendations 31 Short Term Recommendations 31 Medium-Term Recommendations 32 Long-Term Recommendations 33 6.0 CONCLUSION 35 6.1 Project Summary 35 6.2 Reflection 35 6.3 Future Directions 36 REFERENCES 38 Appendix A - Research outline 40 Appendix B - Focus group design outline 41 Appendix C - Focus group participant demographic information 44 Appendix D - Coding Plan 45 Appendix E - Participatory drawing exercise data 49  6   1.0 INTRODUCTION  The Alma Mater Society (AMS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is looking to create an                                 Interactive Sustainability Centre (ISC) with the intent of encouraging community cohesion around                       sustainability issues. This research project, conducted by five School of Community and Regional                         Planning graduate students, aimed to understand student interests for the ISC space. The                         following Section outlines context and central objectives and questions of the research project. 1.1 Project Context The revival of the ISC was motivated by current AMS leadership priorities and is in line with the                                   objective outlined in the AMS’s Student-Driven Sustainability Strategy, which states the AMS will                         “work with faculty, UBC Sustainability Office and other groups to develop a more problem-based                           learning curriculum aimed at reducing our ecological footprint and creating a stronger ecological                         learning community” (Alma Mater Society, 2018, p. 26). Here “sustainability” refers to the 3-pillar                           model developed by AMS, which incorporates ecological, economic, and social aspects of                       sustainability. 1.2 Purpose of Client Engagement This research project will focus primarily on creation of the user experience of the ISC space by                                 exploring student interest in social and physical sustainable infrastructure for the space. Other                         research goals include identifying impacts the Interactive Sustainability Centre would bring to                       students on and off campus, and identifying user interpretations of “sustainability” with regard to                           environmental and social considerations. Through our research partnership, the AMS hoped to                       explore the potential of this space to increase social sustainability by promoting community                         engagement and building cohesion among sustainability stakeholders. 1.3 Research Goals and Objectives When designing this research project (hereafter referred to as the ISC Project), we knew that in                               order to be both relevant and useful, our research goals and questions had to nest within the                                 broader AMS process for the creation of the ISC (Figure 1).  7    Figure 1.Relationship of the research question to the research goal and the AMS project vision.  As outlined in Section 1.1, the goal of the AMS in creating the new ISC is to represent student                                     preferences and perspectives about sustainability on campus. For the ISC Project, we narrowed                         this focus to target the user experience of the space, as we knew this project is only one                                   component of the engagement with the student community that AMS will be undertaking.  We specifically wanted to provide student-driven recommendations for the user experience                     through the design and programming of the ISC - therefore, the primary aim of the ISC Project is                                   to explore student interest in specific physical and social infrastructure choices that contribute to                           the user experience of the ISC space. Other project goals include identifying impacts the ISC                             would bring to students on and off campus, and identifying user interpretations of “sustainability”                           with regard to environmental and social considerations. 1.4 Research Questions Considering the research goals and objectives outlined in Section 1.3, the specific primary                         research question that we derived was:   How can an interactive space in a student centre facilitate the sharing and uptake of innovative ideas in sustainability on campus?  We believe this question addresses the big picture of what the AMS wants to achieve with the ISC                                   space - specifically, to create an ISC that is active in “promoting community engagement and                             8  providing a space on-campus for building cohesion among sustainability stakeholders.” In order to                         get at answering this big question, we also derived several secondary questions to guide our                             research, focusing on the user experience of the ISC space:  (1) What factors attract and encourage students to use interactive space on campus? (2) What forms of social and physical infrastructure are desired or needed by  students to facilitate interaction in the ISC? (3) What outcomes are students looking for from their use and participation in the ISC? (4) How do students understand the term “sustainability” with regard to  environmental and social factors? (5) What is the existing information landscape on campus surrounding  ideas and practice of “sustainability”?  See Appendix A for the research outline developed at the outset of the ISC Project.  These central objectives and research questions contextualize and clearly define our project. They                         prepared us to successfully undertake our research design, beginning with the literature review                         that we delve into in the following section.        9   2.0 REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE  To dig deeper into the research questions, the project began with a literature review. The                             following Section details the review of primary sources on the topics of interactive space design                             and sustainable infrastructure, as well as the case studies of interactive spaces at UBC and other                               institutions that were used to contextualize the literature.  2.1 Literature and Information Context Using the conceptual framework of cities as social-ecological systems, Astbury (2013) makes the                         argument that urban landscapes have the potential to provide connection with nature and                         encourage ecosystem stewardship. Astbury (2013) furthers this position by linking the connection                       to nature and stewardship in urban environments to improve ecosystem and human health                         outcomes, including resiliency and individual and community well-being.  “Greening infrastructure” – meaning the design and implementation of urban infrastructure using                       an ecological system lens – is the point of intervention where resiliency and well-being outcomes                             can be improved (Astbury 2013). Astbury (2013) suggests specifically focusing on creating                       inviting, interactive spaces where people can actively undertake stewardship activities – such as                         planting, restoration, active transportation, etc. – driven by their individual and community skills                         and values. Guidelines for the creation of “inviting landscapes” to facilitate learning, deep                         engagement, and social and ecological health improvements are provided. Reconnecting cities to                       people and nature can be best facilitated by creating inviting landscapes that “provide                         opportunities for citizens to get involved in designing and physically making places in ways that                             allow for creative input, community building and education, thus enhancing both natural and social                           capital” (Astbury, 2013, p. 78).    The primary interest of the AMS is ensuring the ISC is reflective of the desires and interests of the                                     whole student body. With this in mind, it is useful to frame the project using Astbury’s conception                                 of the term “inviting,” to create a sense of belonging and create opportunities for people to do                                 things they want to do, as opposed to pushing or motivating people to undertake pre-determined                             actions. The ISC has the potential to provide space for students to undertake their own actions to                                 promote and engage in sustainability practices on campus, contributing to a sense of place,                           responsibility, and investment in the ISC. This potential is predicated on a participatory process                           among key stakeholders to identify existing gaps in sustainability-related programming on                     campus.   Robinson et al. (2006) describes the participatory approach used in the Georgia Basin Futures                           Project, which aimed to engage the public in exploring creative solutions for sustainability issues                           in the Georgia Basin. The researchers simulated potential futures, asking interested users to                         identify events or concrete policies that would lead to the proposed future. The complexity of the                               content was best communicated during longer, half-day workshops that gave the participants time                         to learn, play with, and understand the tools. It was also found that engaging with lay-people in the                                   10  absence of “experts” was more conducive for non-normative discussion, user buy-in, a higher                         degree of learning, and a greater sense of responsibility for outcomes. The Georgia Basin project                             also discovered the salience of proximity regarding temporal and spatial scale. Users were more                           invested in actions that they could commit to personally and that would benefit them locally and                               within the next 40 years. Information and projects regarding global action for long-term change                           could be lost on the lay- person who might be discouraged by the scale.  Physical infrastructure also plays a critical role in fostering environmental attitudes for urban                         livability. In their post occupancy study, Heerwagen and Zargreus (2005) explored how the design                           of the Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Maryland encouraged environmental                     stewardship among occupants. The views from the building made it easier for workers employed                           in the environment-sector to situate their work within the surrounding ecosystem. Open design,                         where UBC students both inside and outside of the center could be visually connected, could                             similarly promote a sense of community and connection within the ISC. Placemaking can                         encourage behavioral change, help students feel more connected with Sustainability at UBC and                         raise sustainability awareness on campus – through initiatives, on-going projects, and volunteer                       opportunities.  In light of the contribution of the information technology (IT) industry to environmental                         degradation, Murugesan (2008) frames the greening of IT infrastructure as a moral imperative. A                           holistic approach to green IT incorporates aspects of use, disposal, design, manufacturing, and                         acquisition. Environmentally sound practices of IT use include: enabling power management                     features, designing spaces to minimize the need for cooling, and virtualization to consolidate                         physical IT infrastructure. Murugesan (2008) characterizes the adoption of green IT strategies                       based on a continuum of implementation: A tactical incremental approach preserves existing IT                         infrastructure and opts for low-hanging fruit to reduce energy consumption, while a deep green                           approach involves a comprehensive and innovative plan to address broader sustainability goals.   In repurposing an existing space for their ISC, the AMS has the opportunity to apply a variety of                                   green IT strategies along the implementation continuum described by Murugesan (2008). Energy                       consumption can be reduced through low-cost power management practices such as                     energy-efficient lightbulbs, maintaining optimal room temperatures, and investing in energy                   management software for IT. Energy and resource consumption are also embedded in the                         manufacturing and disposal processes of IT and other physical elements of the space (Murugesan,                           2008). When defining the requirements for IT within the ISC, the AMS should first consider                             whether older equipment can be reused or refurbished to meet their needs. If existing IT                             equipment in their possession is outdated, the AMS should consider whether it can be repurposed                             before recycling through the appropriate channels.    11  2.2 Case Studies of Interactive Spaces  Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, UBC    Figure 2. Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia.  Figure 2 depicts a long, narrow space located within the Centre for Interactive Research on                             Sustainability (CIRS). Its dimensions are similar to those of the proposed ISC in the basement of                               the Life building, although this area is part of a larger space on the second floor of the central                                     atrium where people can travel between offices (known as the second-floor bridge). This portion                           of the building is populated with seating and opportunities for collaborative work. Similar to the                             proposed ISC, the second-floor bridge attracts a high amount of through-traffic. The high ceilings,                           windows, and a variety of moveable furniture contributes to the success of the space. Moveable                             furniture, the variety of seating arrangements, and potential study configurations are important                       for student spaces on campus. The importance of open, welcoming, space to invite students into a                               new and unfamiliar space will also support the AMS’ objectives for the ISC.   12  Materials in Mind Pod, Good Environmental Choice Australia   Figure 3. The interactive Materials in Mind Pod (GECA, 2017). In 2017, Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)             acquired a shipping container and developed it into an                 interactive space intended to educate users on “what               makes a sustainable product or material” (Figure 3). The                 interior of the shipping container was built out using                 GECA certified materials, and displayed information           graphics about environmental, health, and social issues             associated with various building materials. The focus of               the project was toward the interior design industry, to                 promote the utilization of sustainable building materials             for standard projects. The content of the information               provided is similar to that of the ISC, not only for its                       environmental scope, but also its call for action. In the                   ‘Materials in Mind’ pod, the call to action is for architects                     and designers, who are already actively practicing in the                 field, whereas the ISC is geared toward students with                 varying levels of involvement in environmental issues. Green Kiosk, Princeton University   Figure 4. The GreenSpace Kiosk at Princeton University (Princeton University, n.d.). Finally, the Greenspace Kiosk is an           interactive exhibit informing students at         Princeton University of sustainability       research and initiatives on campus (Figure           4). The kiosk was installed in 2012 and built                 out of reclaimed wood from a fallen oak tree                 on the Princeton campus. The examples of             sustainability through materials in built form           as well as the information provided are very               much in-line with what the ISC claims to be                 attempting to accomplish. The DNA of this             exhibit imbues environmental awareness       and responsibility, providing a useful         framework for consideration of the ISC. These highlighted examples have drawn on both the literature and physical spaces of                         interactive space design and sustainable infrastructure to present the diversity of ways                       interactive space can be designed. This influenced the breakdown of our methodology, and the                           questions we eventually asked our focus group participants.   13   3.0 METHODOLOGY  The following Section outlines the research project methodology for data collection and analysis.                         Employing an iterative qualitative research approach to collect both verbal-textual and                     visual-spatial data, the research team designed focus groups to hear from the UBC Vancouver                           campus student population about their interests in the ISC physical design and programming, as                           well as outcomes of the space. 3.1 Research Methodology Building on the research goals and the findings of the literature and information review, we                             decided that a series of focus groups would be the primary mode of qualitative data collection to                                 address the proposed research questions.   Why a focus group? In qualitative research, focus groups are a data collection method that capitalize on                         group or collective knowledge, through a process of “co-construction of meaning” by                       participants whose knowledge or experiences are generated within a community                   (Angeles, 2020a). The research of the ISC Project is grounded in this constructionist                         approach to the topic of social animation (Angeles, 2020a) - meaning that we believe                           the focus group setting would allow participants to create meaning through discourse                       of shared experiences (of UBC Vancouver campus spaces, involvement in                   sustainability initiatives, etc.), to illuminate connections between individual and                 collective understandings of sense of place, community, wellbeing, participation, and                   engagement.  The focus group was designed to assess student conceptions of sustainability and gauge interest                           for specific interactive design and use options within the ISC space, as well as to explore deeper                                 discussion of the desired impacts of the ISC. To diversify the sources of data collected, a series of                                   group discussion questions (for verbal-textual data) and a participatory drawing exercise (for                       visual-spatial data) were designed. The focus group design is further elaborated in Section 3.2.  An important consideration in the research methodology of the ISC Project is that this qualitative                             research is iterative and cyclical in nature. An iterative approach is a systematic process where the                               elements of the research design interplay with each other in a flexible and ongoing manner in                               response to new information as it is collected. According to Mills et al. (2010), “mistakenly                             criticized as repeatedly changing the objectives of the study, and as lacking rigor, an iterative                             approach is valuable for its sensitivity to the richness and variability of data and for ensuring data                                 address the study's objectives” (p. 504). 14    Figure 5. Visual explanation of the ISC Project’s iterative approach to research design and analysis.  Figure 5 provides a visual explanation of the ISC Project’s iterative approach to research design                             and analysis. In the initial research design, the research questions were broader and the project                             scope was much more ambitious - including data collection through individual interviews, tactical                         trials, and a quantitative survey to undertake a mixed methods approach. Upon discussion with                           the AMS team, the scope of the ISC Project was refined and the research questions and data                                 collection methods adjusted to better suit both the aims and the capacity of the project,                             considering timelines and research team resources. During the data collection process,                     information and dynamics from the first focus group informed the delivery of the second focus                             group - the focus group questions themselves were not explicitly changed, but recommendations                         for facilitation helped improve the quality of data collected. The iterative approach was also                           applied to the data analysis - this is further discussed in Section 3.3. 3.2 Focus Group Process and Design In gathering data regarding student interests and preferences for the ISC, as well as student                             understandings of ‘sustainability’, we felt the process should be inviting and interactive, utilizing                         creative and participatory engagement methods. Astbury’s “emerging typology of inviting                   landscapes” (2013, p. 80) was useful as a framework for creating questions and activities for the                               specific design of the focus group - see Table 1 for the principles that we felt were most relevant to                                       guiding our thinking on determining the data necessary to answer the proposed research                         questions of the ISC project.    15  Table 1. Principles of the emerging typology of inviting landscapes (Astbury, 2013) used to inform the                               focus group design of the ISC Project.  Principle of inviting landscapes  Characteristics Permission to enter  How is the space is open, inclusive, accessible Change is possible  How is intervention and change seen and encouraged in                 the space Challenge-posing  How does the space present problems to be solved in ways                     that call on skills and imagination of users Community venue  What is social space, comforting infrastructure, informal In the presence of nature  How are signs of stewardship and nature made evident                 through the landscape or through interpretation  With these principles in mind, a set of focus group discussion questions were designed to gather                               verbal-textual data, and an accompanying visual-spatial data collection tool (in the form of a                           participatory drawing exercise) was designed.  Differences in the data Working from the understanding that treats discourse (text) as the central organizing                       principle of meaning-making and construction (Angeles, 2020a), the verbal-textual                 data is the core of the ISC Project data. The decision to use a form of visual-spatial                                 data collection in the ISC Project was driven by one of the core aims of the research                                 questions – to understand student interests in the physical infrastructure and design                       of the new ISC space. Visual-spatial methods can describe spatial relationships,                     appearances, and desires, and therefore allows for richer and deeper understanding                     of these student interests, when analyzed in conjunction with the verbal-textual data                       (Angeles, 2020b).   The visual-spatial data tool that we decided to employ in the data collection was a participatory                               drawing exercise (Angeles, 2020b). Focus group participants were asked to draw and write on a                             blank template rendering of the ISC space, to design and envision their preferences for physical                             infrastructure, use, and programming. In this sense we matched the tool to the data we were                               trying to collect - we felt that this exercise would allow participants to creatively and                             independently express their perspectives and ideas for the design and impacts of the ISC space.  See Figure 6 for an explanation of how the research questions (outlined in Section 1.4) are                               connected to the questions that were designed for the focus group, and how these questions                             contribute to both the verbal-textual and visual-spatial data tools. Note that some of the                           16  discussion questions provided data for both the verbal-textual and visual-spatial elements - this                         demonstrates how the relationships between questions were considered in the data analysis.    Figure 6. Graphic representation of the ISC Project focus group design, demonstrating how the research                             questions link to the verbal-textual data and visual-spatial data collection elements of the focus group.  Following the first discussion about sustainability and interactivity and the participatory drawing                       exercise, we conducted a second discussion about the renderings that AMS had previously                         designed for the new ISC space, to discern student preferences for the different spaces. See                             Appendix B for the complete Focus Group Design, including the complete list of questions.  The target demographic of the focus groups was current UBC students who attend the Vancouver                             campus. This decision was made to align with the AMS goal of understanding a wide variety of                                 student perspectives for the ISC space. Recruitment was conducted by both AMS and SEEDS,                           through their digital communication channels, including email and social media posts. The                       research team also undertook some in-person recruitment efforts in the NEST Building the day of                             the focus groups. We ultimately conducted 2 focus groups with a total ten participants - Table 2                                 provides the organizational details of the focus groups. See Appendix C for the anonymous                           demographic breakdown of the focus group participants, which will be discussed in Section 5.2.       17  Table 2. Organizational details of focus groups conducted in the ISC Project.    Date and Location  Research Team Facilitators  Participants Focus Group 1  February 11, 2020 2:15PM-3:45PM NEST, Room 2515 Winter Cameron Tecla 2 students Focus Group 2  February 13, 2020 2:15PM-3:45PM NEST, Room 2514 Jennifer Devin 8 students  Both focus groups were 1.5 hours in length and were asked the same sets of questions in order to                                     explore participants’ relationships to sustainability and interactive spaces. In both groups, student                       answers played off of each other. The first focus group was able to obtain in-depth knowledge due                                 to the intimate setting with their 2 participants, while the second focus group was able to get a                                   diversity of thoughts and opinions from their many participants.   The data from the first discussion, the participatory drawing exercise, and the second discussion                           were all analyzed concurrently in an iterative process, described in Section 3.3. The findings from                             the focus group data are discussed in detail in Sections 4.1 and 4.2. 3.3 Data Analysis Methodology The primary goal of qualitative data analysis is to “locate meaning in the data”, through the design                                 of appropriate tools and systematic planning, and an analytic objective that considers the purpose                           and audience of the data is essential to locating meaning (Guest et al., 2012).  For the ISC Project, the purpose of data collection is to gather student perspectives on design and use of the ISC space. The primary audience is the AMS project team.  Given these considerations, the analytic objective was to generate student-driven recommendations for AMS for physical design and programming of the ISC space.  Our research team planned to locate meaning in the data collected from the focus groups through                               an iterative data analysis approach (seen in Figure 7):  1. Preliminary analysis​, conducted by individual research team members, of specific sections                     of the verbal-textual and visual-spatial data to identify emergent themes. 2. Re-analysis of the data using the emergent themes drawn from Step 1, conducted by the                             research team as a collective, to discern conclusive themes. 3. Use of the conclusive themes identified in Step 2 to inform the ​recommendations ​put                           forward by the research team to AMS. The initial data analysis was then reviewed in light                               of the recommendations, to determine if any new themes or ideas emerged. 18    Figure 7. Visual explanation of the ISC Project’s iterative approach to data analysis.  In order to proceed with the preliminary analysis, it was necessary to develop a pre-analysis list of                                 possible codes, which are textual descriptions of the semantic boundaries of a theme (Guest et al.,                               2012). Possible codes were identified by thinking of themes that we expected to see given the                               questions we were asking in the focus group - see Appendix D for the preliminary codebook                               developed by the research team. These codes were used to assist in the structuring of our                               preliminary analysis, where individual team members analyzed the verbal-textual data responses                     to individual focus group questions and the visual-spatial data generated from the participatory                         drawing exercise. It should be noted that this potential codebook was not meant to be a                               prescriptive or inflexible analytical framework - we were also open to the unforeseen and                           unexpected themes that emerged in the data during the preliminary analysis.  In our collective re-analysis we did not treat individual focus group questions in isolation from one                               another but rather sought to identify themes across the two focus groups, and across questions.                             We acknowledge that because of the interactive nature of focus group discussions, where                         knowledge is elicited from the collective, the responses to specific questions may hold wisdom                           that also addresses other questions.  Some considerations that should be kept in mind regarding the data findings from both the                             verbal-textual and visual-spatial data include the differences in recruitment (Focus Group 1 had 2                           total participants, while Focus Group 2 had 8 total participants), and differences in facilitation                           between focus groups (variation in wording of questions). Another important point is that the ISC                             Project’s data frame is limited by the fact that we did not conduct individual interviews about the                                 ISC space (due to capacity of the research team size).   19  Quantification of the response data is complicated by the fact that the ISC Project only consisted                               of focus group discussions. While in a survey or individual interview data collection method,                           individuals tend to explicitly state all of their held perspectives, in a focus group setting                             participants do not necessarily do so - instead they may simply not speak, or only provide body                                 language clues, if they feel their perspective has already been stated by another member of the                               focus group. We also felt that quantifying the number of times a particular code occurred in the                                 data would be potentially misleading, because it removes the occurrence of the theme from its                             context in the discussion. In this way, the data analysis takes an ethnographic approach that                             “values a careful treatment of context, insisting that it is impossible to separate speech data from                               the history under which it was obtained” (Angeles, 2020a).  It was outside the scope of the ISC Project to conduct true mixed-methods (quantitative and                             qualitative) data collection and analysis. However, when both sources of qualitative data that                         were gathered are considered together in a concurrent analytical framework (Guest et al., 2012),                           the visual-spatial data provides a powerful visualization of student preferences for the new ISC                           space, which is complemented by the verbal-textual data gathered in the facilitated discussions.                         Both the verbal-textual and the visual-spatial data will be useful for AMS in their decision-making                             on the ISC project.   20   4.0 KEY FINDINGS  Focus group participants were keen to share their perspectives for the ISC. The following Section                             provides a summary of the key findings of the verbal-textual and visual-spatial data collected                           during the focus groups. 4.1 Verbal Textual Data  We employed two simultaneous methods of verbal data collection in both focus groups - a                             transcriber and live audio recording - to capture the full extent of the participants’ conversations                             and remarks. Language has dimensions of meaning and semantic content that provides sufficient                         qualitative data when utilized to inform literal transcripts. Collecting such information with this                         method allowed us to extract material of interest from the dialogue relevant to our project                             objectives. As per the requirements of the BREB for this project, the complete transcripts of the                               Focus Group discussions are kept securely on a member of the project team’s laptop.   The focus group design strategically structured the questions to guide conversation in a logical                           direction. The initial questions surrounding personal perceptions and knowledge of sustainability                     primed participants to think about its relationship with space and interactivity. As part of our                             objectives, it was important to gather the extent of participants’ awareness of on-campus                         sustainability initiatives to determine whether an obvious pattern of information sourcing existed.                       It was also important that we collected opinion-based data surrounding space and interactivity to                           assist the subsequent visual-spatial data collection.  What did we learn?  From both discussions held, sustainability was defined in many different ways, but there was a                             general consensus that it related to individual and collective efforts in curbing human ecological                           footprints. Our verbal data pointed to the prominence of consideration for future generations and                           controlling resource consumption as primary ‘efforts’. We determined from the dialogue that                       people view sustainability as a flexible term; interdisciplinary, co-opted, and often overused.  It was clear that participants were mostly informed by social media such as Facebook, being                             familiar with publicized rallies such as the fossil fuel divestment and the climate strike on campus.                               Of the ten total participants, one was involved in both rallies as a member of the climate hub. But                                     generally speaking, participants had limited knowledge of on-campus sustainability initiatives.                   Only a few tangible examples were cited (paper cups, CIRS building design).   Participants were receptive to our focus group questions relating to space and interactivity. They                           provided reflection on specific spaces that foster a sense of engagement through tactility or                           through nurturing a social environment via purposeful design. The Nest was frequently mentioned                         21  as a welcoming public space that fosters collaborative work, referring to its clear social norms, its                               high ceilings, sense of openness and natural light.  Other spaces being frequented by participants were mentioned for their functionality and utility,                         which they perceived as being two critical determinants of a space’s interactivity. Utility such as a                               microwave or water source could be introduced to space as a means of attracting users.   “Yeah, I think it's important that interactive space is more than just a physical place to, but actually has a use value. It needs to meet needs of the community, and actually provide something useful. I also think it needs to be open and accessible, so that people, new people can come in and experience it.”  (Speaker 7, Focus Group 2; Feb 13, 2020) “Now I’m kind of thinking of those swings that were put up. I feel like when I hear ‘interactive’ it’s like something that you wouldn’t normally see. And I’ve never used them … but I think of that as ... interactive is out of the ordinary: almost something you’re drawn to doing. Now I’m gonna want to go on one of those swings …” (Speaker 1, Focus Group 1; Feb 11, 2020)   Participants also pointed to the importance of flexibility in the arrangement of space to allow                             users to define its function, whether for collaborative work or simply to encourage its use by                               creating a better sense of community.  “I think spaces where you understand the unwritten social codes, and as people have been saying, whether it’s a social space or a quiet space, not hierarchies or legacies - like you’re a graduate student you go here and undergrads don’t, or things like that. As well as I was thinking about physical accessibility. The movable furniture, but also that it all has space for a wheelchair to get around in it - all kinds of different ways that people can or can’t access this space. I think UBC is big and crowded, and if this is intended to be interactive, I wonder about it being a quiet space.” (Speaker 2, Focus Group 2; Feb 13, 2020) “A space I use a lot for collaborative work is the resource lounge … One part that I really like about it is a sense of community - when you go there, there are people who share your values. I think the flexibility of the space, that you can move around the furniture to suit the meeting style that needed, and having outlets is a huge thing for me so I can always charge my computer. I think versatile furniture is always good.”  (Speaker 7, Focus Group 2; Feb 13, 2020) 22    When participants discussed the proposed sustainability center, interactivity was held as being an                         important component in displaying informational resources. There was an expressed desire to                       have access to research-based information including tangible ways people could get involved.                       Ideas for individual engagement was a recurring idea as participants suggested that a ladder of                             engagement could be promoted. But the general focus surrounding the space was concerning                         initiating collective change.   “I find it hard to find research based or scientific based information online, so even providing ways to find scientific researcher backed information about sustainability.” (Speaker 1, Focus Group 1; Feb 11, 2020) “... for a lot of people the individual lifestyle changes can feel disempowering, in a way because you know that that's not going to solve the problem on it's own, like we need large scale systemic change at the government level. So that's why I think talking about things like voting and policy change, and civic engagement is really important. One thing that could be done is presenting sort of like a ladder of engagement for the different ways that you can engage and kind of meeting people where they're at. Kind of the lowest barrier actions, which are often more individual lifestyle changes, to highest barrier things like running for office. So that's an option. And then another thing that I think is really important is presenting information on the intersections between environment, like sustainability issues and social issues as you were talking on human rights, justice, indigenous rights, all of those things, is really critical.”  (Speaker 7, Focus Group 2; Feb 13, 2020) “I think the interactive part is to be educating us on sustainability, right, like the student population. It would be nice if they could educate the admin on it too, you know what I mean, that it goes upward too.” (Speaker 2, Focus Group 1; Feb 11, 2020) Additionally, participants were concerned that the center would be used as a promotional tool, or                               a ‘front’, and suggested that it be student led. The center was imagined as a space for civic                                   engagement where diverse campus groups could come together around sustainability issues,                     rather than being siloed into different learning spaces and communities.  “And it’d be nice if it was a hub where students’ voices were heard … and when student voices are heard that things actually get done.” (Speaker 2, Focus Group 1; Feb 11, 2020). 23  “Bringing different faculties on campus to speak, but I think also bringing them to work together, because we’re often siloed into our different learning spaces or communities because we can’t address things with - as we learned from last night, just environmental, technological developments to fix climate change - we have to have all the things.” (Speaker 2, Focus Group 2; Feb 13, 2020) “It'd be really bad if it opened and it was like "this is how UBC is making our lives better … this is what UBC does and this is the way UBC is doing it”. It's like, this is how UBC is working … an advertisement, a public thing. If it was something like that, I probably would not go to it ever.”  (Speaker 2, Focus Group 1; Feb 11, 2020) 4.2 Visual Spatial Data  For the participatory drawing exercise, participants drew and discussed spatial features on blank                         renderings of the ISC space that might facilitate desirable activities such as lounging, studying, or                             group work in the ISC. Their drawings are shown in Figure 8a, 8b, and 8c (next page). Larger                                   versions of the drawings can be found in Appendix F.   What did we learn?  Participants showed a preference for a multi-use comfy lounge and workspace, achieved through                         flexibility in furniture. Beanbags, or lightweight folding chairs could be manipulated to fill the                           space for lounging or clear the space to facilitate through-movement. Furniture in the room could                             be oriented towards a screen for presentations, or chairs could be oriented inward to facilitate                             round-table discussion. A white board or chart paper could also be utilized for group work and                               presentations. This level of flexibility would reduce the burden on the AMS to anticipate the needs                               of the campus population as a result of fixed interior design. By avoiding prescribed use of the                                 space, the ISC could better accommodate for the diverse needs of various campus groups.   24  (a)  (b)  (c)  Figure 8. Participatory drawing exercises from the focus groups.  (a) Focus group 1 - drawing 1, (b) Focus group 2 - drawing 1, and (c) Focus group 2 - drawing 2.   25  In their discussion about the dissemination of sustainability-related information, participants                   recommended installing an interactive monitor that could be used as a means to gauge student                             perceptions on the topic of sustainability. The screen could engage users with information and                           activities related to the campus population through questions posed on the monitor each week.                           Participants liked the idea of the screen being placed within the center rather than facing outside                               because it could allow for more versatile uses like ​facilitating workshops and information                         presentations. In addition to digital resources, it was suggested that the ISC could include books,                             fliers, pamphlets, and other resources articulating sustainable living practices.  (a)  (b)  (c)   Figure 9. Renderings for the proposed ISC with (a) a glass enclosure, (b) no partition, and (c) a wooden partition.  There were suggestions that programming of the space should come from a bottom-up approach                           driven by student groups. The space could facilitate bidirectional communication on involvement                       by utilizing a poster board to convey how users can get involved through the promotion of events,                                 petitions, and calls to action. Contribution to the poster board would open to all, and                             sustainability-related campus groups would be encouraged to contribute freely. The ISC could                       provide resources to campus groups for workshops and demonstrations, including the provision of                         materials for making signs and banners. The ISC could provide a space not only for the institution                                 to communicate sustainability-related information to students, but also generate ideas and                     solutions among the greater campus population.   26  Following the drawing activity, participants were shown three proposed renderings, drafted by                       the AMS. These renderings are shown in Figures 9a, 9b, and 9c. Participants voiced a preference                               for open space, avoiding dividers and enclosed walls. Renderings depicted in Figure 8b and 8c                             were praised for their open design, which seemed more inviting. However, the participants                         favored the half-wall for it was a compromise of privacy and openness between Figure 8a and 8b.                                 Contrary to initial value put on an internally oriented digital screen, it was stated that outwardly                               facing program information would increase accessibility, making the space feel more welcoming to                         unfamiliar users.   Participants felt it was important to utilize wall space in order to mitigate crowding the minimal                               floor space. This could be accomplished with the information displays, touch screens and digital                           signage. With regard to the furniture, participants did not like the idea of replicating other study                               spaces by crowding both conference tables with lounging furniture. It was suggested that                         furniture be interactive, usable, and potentially constructed from sustainable materials, rather                     than fancy and cluttered. For the space to be inviting, and to communicate its sustainability                             principles, participants expressed their interest in wood and decorative plants. It was an important                           consideration that the space will be in a basement with little exposure to sunlight, determining the                               need for elemental features. Wood planked walls, for example, would serve for better aesthetics                           than the proposed wallpaper in the AMS renderings. The space should use natural colors and                             materials to set a relaxed atmosphere, and differentiating. Plants would help to serve this purpose                             in addition to filtering air.  Both the verbal-textual and visual-spatial data collection were invaluable for our research. The                         richness of the results from the focus group participants significantly contributed to our own                           understandings of sustainability and interactive spaces, and allowed us to critically consider                       emergent themes and resultant recommendations for the ISC space.      27   5.0 ANALYSIS & RECOMMENDATIONS  The following section outlines the key themes and takeaways from the research data, as well as                               recommendations for AMS on ISC implementation including short, medium and long-term actions.                       The research team has captured and proposed a program planning strategy that the AMS and                             other stakeholders can pursue, and things to keep in mind, as the AMS develops the programs with                                 student groups. 5.1 Themes  Figure 10.  Conclusive themes focus group participants want to see represented in the ISC.  Several themes emerged during the focus groups as participants shared stories and ideas of                           elements they would like to see represented in the ISC - conclusive themes are shown in Figure 10.                                   As described in the iterative data analysis process (Section 3.3), the themes were derived by the                               research team as a collective from a preliminary coding list created before we ran the focus                               groups, as well as the individual analysis of verbal-textual data from focus groups (Section 4.1) and                               ideas articulated during the visual-spatial exercise (Section 4.2). These themes all represent the                         high-level ideas that participants touched on multiple times throughout the focus groups, and                         several of them intertwine. It is also important to note that even though some of the terminology                                 varies from what was said verbatim in the verbal-textual data, the authentic representation of                           participants’ intentions, and communications of their ideas are reflected in the themes.   28  When we first created our preliminary coding list (see Appendix D), we attempted to imagine                             ourselves as focus group participants and thought of words or phrases we might use when                             answering the focus group questions. For each question we thought of several potential topics                           that could arise during the focus groups, as well as several sub-topics. For example, potential                             coding for responses to our first questions concerning sustainability on campus:   S1. Are you aware of any sustainability-related initiatives on campus? How did you hear                           about them? This is a two-part question, so we indicated two sub-topic codes: ● Sustainability-related initiatives ○ Student-led initiatives ○ Administration-led initiatives ○ Research projects ● Sources of information ○ Newsletters ○ Social media ○ Word of mouth   Our team put a lot of thought into crafting our focus group questions, and we had also completed                                   the literature review on sustainable and interactive centres. As we realized during the focus                           groups, we were better-equipped to answer certain questions than participants, and we had also                           considered more in-depth and focused answers in our preliminary coding than we were actually                           able to obtain from many participants. Under the sub-topic of “sustainability-related initiatives”                       listed above, we found that participants spoke organically about things they had observed around                           campus, not differentiating between student-led and administration-let initiatives (for example,                   general knowledge that there was a $.25 disposable cup fee). As the focus groups continued,                             conversation topics led to participants distinguishing between student initiatives (such as the                       Climate Hub) and administration initiatives (such as the Climate Emergency). Even though                       participants did not specifically articulate this in their answers to ​S1, ​this awareness was a present                               thread throughout the focus groups and manifested itself in the emerging theme: “​Student-driven,”                         which is how many participants would like to see the ISC operate.   Detailed List of conclusive themes from ​Figure 9:   (1) Idea-generation — Focus group participants believed the ISC should be a place to foster                           ideas and innovation. It could operate as a hub that would produce                       sustainability-related ideas for campus.  (2) Student-driven — It was important to focus group participants that the ISC be                         student-driven (i.e. through clubs), and not administration-driven (i.e. top-down UBC                   approach). This theme ties-in closely with transparency.  29  (3) Transparency ​— Can be showcased by sharing what AMS and UBC are doing about                           sustainability on campus, and how they are working with student groups. It is                         important that the ISC is not just an “advertisement for UBC” (4) Inclusive ​— Ensuring the space is open and accessible for all students was important to                             focus group participants. This includes both students who are very knowledgeable                     about sustainability, and students who don’t know anything about it. This theme                       ties-in closely with welcoming.   (5) Welcoming ​— Providing an inviting and welcoming space will draw more users to the                           ISC. If it is welcoming, it will be more inclusive for all types of students and people who                                   wish to visit the space.  (6) Learning ​— As an interactive centre, learning should be one of the main goals of the ISC.                                 This emergent theme was part of a broader discussion with the focus groups that                           found interactive spaces were often effective because they promoted learning, and                     were spaces that successfully drew visitors in.  (7) Collaborative ​— To encourage sustainability on campus, the ISC should promote                     collaboration across different working groups. Either to provide a space where                     collaborative functions between students can take place, or to showcase collaborative                     efforts between student groups and AMS.  (8) Tactile ​— Participants spoke a lot on how having things to touch and interact with                             draws people in. By having something like a touch screen, or an installation, the ISC will                               be able to attract more users to the space. (9) Functionality ​— The importance of the ISC working as an ​interactive centre came up in                             the focus groups. Since the space is limited, it is important that it is used correctly to                                 foster collaboration to ensure it is successful. Focus group participants found that the                         desk included in the renderings contrasted with the ISC’s purpose as an interactive                         centre.  (10) Flexibility ​— Using moveable or multi-purpose furniture was highlighted by focus-group                     participants. This would allow the space to be used for club activities, speakers,                         working groups, or independent study sessions to suit users’ needs.  (11) Spatial Engagement ​— How do ISC users engage with the space? Having touch screens,                           bulletin boards, or other elements present in the centre that users could interact with                           would draw more people to the centre.  (12) Community ​— the ISC needs to sustain a community in order to be successful in the                               long-term. By acting as a hub for sustainability on campus, different groups could post/                           advertise at the ISC about upcoming sustainability workshops, and guest speakers,                     effectively growing and maintaining the sustainability community on campus. (13) Climate ​— Many focus group participants associated sustainability with the                   environment and climate. Especially considering UBC’s recently declared climate                 emergency, the ISC should showcase actions that the university has taken to address                         30  this emergency, as well as actions that students can undertake if they wish to get                             involved with the climate emergency. (14) Openness ​— When participants were shown renderings of the ISC, they liked the one                           that was half-open. This rendering was closed-off enough to be private for users of the                             space,  yet open enough to attract curious people into the ISC.  5.2 Takeaways Several key takeaways emerged from the focus groups, many of them focusing on how hopeful                             participants feel about the ISC. Perhaps first and foremost was the gap between the sustainability                             needs of campus-users and their abilities to connect with sustainability initiatives on campus.                         Participants indicated that they would be willing to take action on sustainability on-campus and in                             their daily lives, but they did not know where or how to start. The ISC will hopefully be able to fill                                         this gap for campus-users, through the ladder-of-engagement model. Participants were                   additionally hopeful that the ISC could bridge the communication gap that comes with                         engagement. Not only did the participants not know about sustainability actions they could take,                           they also did not know where they could currently go on campus to learn about sustainability                               actions. Having the ISC act as the information hub for sustainability on-campus, giving                         sustainability a physical home, will greatly expand the number of students who will be able to                               learn about these initiatives and become interested in on-campus sustainability.    Additionally, participants were wary of UBC-run initiatives, and instead favored partnerships with                       student groups. Many participants believed that UBC likes to take credit for the initiatives it is                               doing, in effect creating advertising for the school. They did not want the ISC to be an                                 advertisement for UBC. In the ISC participants would like to potentially see a partnership with the                               Climate Hub, and they believed programming should build off of both student and administrative                           sustainability initiatives.  5.3 Actionable Recommendations Short Term Recommendations Physical Design Choices:  (1) Pick the half-open wooden slatted rendering so the ISC is semi-enclosed, yet is still inviting                             and draws in new participants. ] (2) Color Palette: Use natural colors and materials to create a relaxed atmosphere and situate                           users. Greens, blues, and browns would serve this purpose. Materials for tables or shelves                           should be wood- perhaps repurposed from other parts of campus so the ISC embodies the                             sustainability it promotes. The color palette can also include live plants that would do well                             without much sunlight. As a bonus, the plants can filter air, enhance the area’s scent, and                               contribute to an experience that engages multiple senses at the ISC.   31  (3) Flexible furniture: That is easy to move, store, and reconfigure in the ISC, so participants                             can easily customize the layout to meet their needs. (4) Appliances: Having microwaves in the space will draw people in and keep the space                           continually lively throughout the Life building’s open hours.  (5) Touch Screens and Bulletin Boards: Installing these will visually inspire students, keep                       them up-to-date with on-campus sustainability initiatives, and provide them with a place                       to physically sign up to volunteer and attend sustainability workshops and events. The                         placement of the screen should be carefully considered so that students within the space                           will be able use it. In addition to being a dash-board for building metrics, the touchscreen                               should also provide opportunities for students to sign up for activities and events, assess                           their own carbon-footprint, or participate in another fun, sustainability-themed activity.  Medium-Term Recommendations Programming Decisions  Figure 11.  Ladder of Engagement for Users of the ISC.  (1) AMS–Sustainability Student Groups Partnership — The ISC can build off of valuable                       sustainability initiatives that student-led campus groups have already begun by forging a                       long-lasting partnership that is built on a foundation of communication and respect.  (2) Information-Sharing — Ensure sustainability opportunities on-campus are frequently               updated, on the touch-screen and bulletin board in addition to sending out emails and                           newsletters, so students can easily sign up for them and get involved. (3) Ladder of Engagement Actions ​(Figure 11) — A variety of sustainability actions should be                           available and made known for users who want to get involved. For example, a small action                               could be remembering to bring your own reusable mug, while a larger action would be                             attending, or helping to organize a climate strike. After the user fulfills an engagement                           32  action, they will slowly “climb” the ladder, undertaking more in-depth and involved actions                         to promote sustainability. The user can stop at whichever rung they are comfortable with.   Figure 10, Explained:  (a) Sustainability Awareness ​— This is the lowest rung on the ladder of engagement, and                           where individuals can begin to engage with sustainability. Perhaps they have seen                       signs in coffee shops to bring their reusable mugs, or there is a celebrity they like                               who often talks about the importance of climate change and sustainability. This is                         where people’s interest in sustainability is peaked.  (b) Visit the ISC ​— As an individual expands their sustainability awareness, they will                         have seen information leaflets advertising the ISC, or one of their friends who is                           sustainability-minded will tell them to visit. Since the ISC is in the Life building, it is                               centrally-located on campus and new visitors will be able to easily alter their                         foot-paths to visit. After visiting the ISC, you now have an information leaflet, a                           sense of where to seek further information online, and you are aware of the                           sustainability events taking place on campus. Additionally, you are now versed in                       the campus resources for sustainability (i.e. various student groups that are active                       in sustainability).  (c) Attend an ISC Event ​— With the knowledge you gain at the ISC, you decide to attend                                 an ISC event. This is a crucial step as you transition from an active observer to                               someone who takes part in greater actions that affect the sustainability narrative.                       If you are new to on-campus sustainability, you may decide to attend the event                           with a friend. By offering “Introduction to Sustainability” workshops (a                   Sustainability 101 if you will), or a talk by a well-known community activist it will be                               easier to get new people involved.  (d) Volunteer at an ISC Event — After attending several ISC events, you are now                           equipped with sustainability knowledge that you would like to share. Volunteering                     at an event will give you a different perspective on sustainability, and the event                           could encompass any type of workshop, lecture, world cafe, or other activity the                         ISC may run. The ISC may even look at ideas from the City of Vancouver, such as                                 their Climate Emergency Workshops, and use them as a model to get campus users                           to critically think about reducing their own carbon footprints.  (e) Organize an ISC Event — Volunteering has shown you how certain events are                         organized, and you have an event idea to fill an ISC programming gap. For example,                             you may want to organize a beach cleanup with the Great Canadaian Shoreline                         Cleanup to help remove trash from our beaches. Since the ISC and the                         sustainability groups on-campus have a strong partnership, you are able to easily                       secure the resources and support you need to successfully run the event. In fact,                           you are even able to forge a new partnership with the UBC Aqua Society, located                             just across the hall from the ISC.  33  Long-Term Recommendations Continued Engagement: (1) Sustain the partnership with campus sustainability groups by offering continued support                     and services, and organize joint events to involve as many people as possible with                           on-campus sustainability. (2) Iterative Learning Cycle: On a monthly basis re-evaluate the ISC. See if it is performing                             as-intended, or if its purpose and programming have shifted. If student needs for the ISC                             have shifted, stay flexible and continue working with student sustainability groups to                       deliver the altered services the campus population needs.  In breaking down the themes, takeaways and recommendations we gained from this project, we                           hope the AMS will be able to take actions as soon as the ISC is up and running. Our upcoming final                                         section will provide a detailed debrief on our thoughts and learnings from this project.      34   6.0 CONCLUSION  The final Section summarizes the research project’s findings and recommendations, as well as                         provides a reflection from the research team on the project’s process and outcomes and directions                             for the future of the ISC space. 6.1 Project Summary The research design for the ISC was a comprehensive process from start to finish. Our research                               group began by identifying our project scope, followed by developing a project methodology, and                           finally we analyzed collected data and processed it into tangible actions for our client to                             implement. Throughout this project we learned about the importance of research as an iterative                           process to remain flexible through project challenges, such as the condensed timeline we were                           working with.   Undertaking the literature review helped us frame and contextualize the ISC, allowing us to draw                             on other successful examples of sustainability-orientated spaces and develop our sustainability                     and interactive lines of questioning. The focus groups we ran provided invaluable, detailed project                           data that yielded key findings that were converted into ISC recommendations for AMS. As such,                             these short, medium and long-term actions will be major influencers in the ISC’s long-term                           success.  6.2 Reflection Reflecting on the project as part of our planning practice, we came up with the following lessons.  First: students are wary of a top-down approach to sustainability programming at UBC.   In regards to the ISC, this was reflected in student responses about the physical design of the                                 space and in it’s programming. In terms of programming, participants identified a need for more                             resources allocated to campus groups to facilitate collaborative work and encourage involvement.                       In the vision of the participants, the ISC would provide a space not only for the institution to                                   communicate sustainability-related information to students, but also generate ideas and solutions                     among the greater campus population. Students also wanted flexibility in the physical design of                           the space, through open design and moveable furniture. This would reduce the burden on the AMS                               to anticipate the needs of the campus population and prescribe the use of the space through fixed                                 interior design. This is true for both functionality and accessibility, as users might rearrange                           furniture to suit a particular purpose or to accommodate their needs.   35  Second: community-based research is an iterative process.   We revisited and adjusted research questions and design throughout the entire engagement. In                         this sense, we benefited from our ability to be agile. Focus groups proved to be a useful tool in our                                       qualitative data collection, given the scope of the project. Participants were engaged and eager to                             contribute collaboratively in response to our questions, drawing on their shared experiences.  Third: demographics and representation played a crucial role in the data we collected.   As researchers, we must critically think about the external validity of our data when we consider                               its implications across UBC as a whole (Guest et al. 2012). For example, our focus groups were                                 split 50/50 between graduate and undergraduate students​, ​while the UBC graduate student                       population is actually only 17% (Redish & Mathieson, 2017). In addition, we had 3 male                             participants and 7 female participants, which is more than the small majority of female students                             UBC enrolls (Redish & Mathieson, 2017). Further, three of our focus group graduate student                           participants were from the education department, and two of them were from the planning                           department. Even though these participants were not involved with sustainability on-campus, and                       were able to give excellent feedback for a sustainability baseline, many of these students mostly                             stayed near their departmental buildings on campus. It is important to be aware that graduate                             students at UBC utilize the campus differently than undergraduate students, and their programs                         are typically a shorter length of time than an undergraduate’s. With a high turnover demographic,                             it is important to consider ways for students to get involved with on-campus initiatives during                             their time at UBC.   This highlights the importance of having a diversity of channels for recruitment to achieve a                             representative sample. If we intended to collect data that represents the student body as a whole,                               then we needed to employ a survey method. Due to time constraints on the project, and the desire                                   to obtain in-depth feedback about the proposed ISC, we limited our methodology to the focus                             groups. Additionally, in order to meet the criteria of community-based participatory action                       research provided by Burns et al. (2011, p. 14), more diverse ISC stakeholders must be included in                                 the research process, including problem-definition, tool development, analysis, and dissemination                   steps. 6.3 Future Directions To advance the objective of the AMS to create an ISC that represents student preferences and                               perspectives about sustainability on campus, the AMS would benefit from additional focus groups                         with members from sustainability-related campus organizations. This portion of the campus                     population is well positioned to identify existing gaps in sustainability-related programming at                       UBC. Further, many student groups experience a great deal of organizational turnover between                         36  semesters, and their success relies on their ability to attract new membership. Therefore,                         stakeholders from sustainability-related campus groups likely have many insights in regards to                       engaging segments of the UBC population that are not already involved in sustainability on                           campus.  Through the Interactive Sustainability Centre, the Alma Mater Society has an opportunity to facilitate a truly student-centered and student-driven hub for motivating action on sustainability issues at many scales, across the UBC Vancouver campus and beyond.    37  REFERENCES  Alma Mater Society (2018). Student-Driven Sustainability Strategy. ​AMS Sustainability​. Retrieved from  Angeles, L. C. (2020a, January 29). ​Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research: Verbal & Textual Data Collection and Analysis​ [PowerPoint slides]. Canvas. Retrieved from  Angeles, L. C. (2020b, February 5). ​Visual-Spatial Data Collection and Analysis​ [PowerPoint slides]. Canvas. Retrieved from  Astbury, J. (2013). Interactive urban landscapes for well-being and sustainability. In ​Landscape, Well-Being and Environment​ (pp. 86-100). Routledge.  Burns, J. C., Cooke, D. Y., & Schweidler, C. (2011). ​A Short Guide to Community Based Participatory Action Research. Advancement Project – Healthy City.​ Retreieved from  Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA). (2017). ​The Interactive “Materials in Mind” Pod Educating on Sustainability.​ Design Build Expo. Retrieved from  Guest, G., MacQueen, K. M., & Namey, E. E. (2012). ​Applied Thematic Analysis.​ Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483384436  Heerwagen, J., & Zagreus, L. (2005). The human factors of sustainable building design: post occupancy evaluation of the Philip Merrill Environmental Center. ​UC Berkeley: Center for the Built Environment​. Retrieved from ​   Mills, A. J., Durepos, G., & Wiebe, E. (2010). Encyclopedia of case study research (Vols. 1-0). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412957397  Murugesan, S. (2008). ​Harnessing green IT: Principles and practices​. IT professional, 10(1), 24-33.  Princeton University. (n.d.). ​Online Campus Green Tour. ​Office of Sustainability. Retrieved from   38  Robinson, J., Carmichael, J., Vanwynsberghe, R., Tansey, J., Journeay, M., & Rogers, L. (2006). Sustainability as a Problem of Design: Interactive Science in the Georgia Basin​. Integrated Assessment, 6, 165-192.   Redish, A., & Mathieson, C. (2017). ​2016/17 Annual Report on Enrolment.​ University of British Columbia Senate. Retrieved from    39  Appendix A - Research outline January 28, 2020 Placemaking for a Cause:  Exploring student interests in a UBC Interactive Sustainability Centre Context: ​The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) is proposing the development of an Interactive Sustainability Centre (ISC) on the UBC Vancouver campus that aims to promote community engagement and build cohesion among sustainability stakeholders. This research project aims to explore the interests of students who will be using the ISC space, including desired impacts of the ISC and preferences for social and physical infrastructure.  Research Goal: ​This research project will focus primarily on creation of the user experience of the ISC space by exploring student interest in social and physical sustainable infrastructure for the space. Other research goals include identifying impacts the Interactive Sustainability Centre would bring to students on and off campus, and identifying user interpretations of “sustainability” with regard to environmental and social considerations.   Research Questions: How can an interactive space in a student centre facilitate the sharing and uptake of innovative ideas in sustainability on campus? Secondary research questions:  ● What factors attract and encourage students to use interactive space on campus? ● What forms of social and physical infrastructure are desired or needed by students to facilitate interaction in the ISC? ● What outcomes are students looking for from their use and participation in the ISC? ● How do students understand the term “sustainability” with regard to environmental and social factors? ● What is the existing information landscape on campus surrounding ideas and practice of “sustainability”?  Methodology: ​This project will begin with a literature review with the following goals: (1) analyze planning documents for the UBC Vancouver campus, including the Student Driven Sustainability Strategy, Wellbeing Plan, and Green Building Plan; (2) understand the methods used in designing interactive spaces and sustainability programs at UBC and other universities/institutions; and (3) understand the current landscape of sustainability information and practices on the UBC Vancouver campus. Two focus groups will be the primary mode of qualitative data collection to address the proposed research questions. Document analysis of past ISC design and implementation documents will also be undertaken for secondary data collection to provide context to the focus group data. The target demographic of this project is current UBC students who attend the Vancouver campus. Potential participants will be provided by the SEEDS project coordinator and AMS client.  Focus group questions will be designed to assess student conceptions of sustainability and gauge interest for specific infrastructure design and use options within the space, as well as to explore deeper discussion of the desired impacts of the space. Time and budget permitting, participant observation of student use of other interactive campus spaces and trials of design and infrastructure options will be undertaken within the focus group design.   40  Appendix B - Focus group design outline Focus Group: AMS Interactive Sustainability Centre - Handout  The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) is proposing the development of an Interactive Sustainability Centre in the UBC Life Building that aims to promote community engagement around sustainability on campus, acting as a co-learning space for students and sustainability stakeholders. Your input on preferences and desired impacts will be used to inform the design of the space.  On behalf of AMS, thank you for your time and insights today. Before we begin, please take a moment to answer the following questions:  What year did you first enroll in UBC?    What program are you currently enrolled in?    If any, what student groups are you involved with?    Are you an international student (circle one)? Yes No  If yes, please specify country of origin:    What languages do you speak at home, work and school (please specify all)?    Please tell us your gender:    Please tell us your ethnicity:     Note: This focus group is being conducted by students of the School of Community and Regional Planning. All data will be kept confidential and will not be used to identify individual participants.  41  Focus Group: AMS Interactive Sustainability Centre  5 min intro, 5 min wrap up  Discussion Questions  Sustainability on Campus: (~10 mins)  S1. Are you aware of any sustainability-related initiatives on campus? How did you hear about them?  S2. When you think of the term “sustainability,” what comes to mind? Do you have a personal definition of sustainability? Please explain.   Interactive Spaces: (~40 mins)  I1. When you think of the term “interactive,” what comes to mind? (5 min) What features of a space would make it interactive? If any, what spaces on campus do you consider to be interactive?    I2. Which student or community spaces do you use most often on campus? (5 min) What encourages you to use these spaces?  What could be done to improve the spaces you frequently use? What factors contributed to using a space for collaborative work (ie. a group project, meeting, etc.)?    I3. Are there gaps in sustainability spaces or initiatives that the ISC could fill? (10 min) What kind of information would you be most excited to see in an Interactive Sustainability Centre?    I4. In imagining an Interactive Sustainability Centre, what would you like the outcomes for the greater campus community to be? (10 min) Should the focus of the centre be campus, regional, or global?     42  Specific Space Renderings - Interactive Activity (~30 mins)  > Distribute 11x17” printouts of blank renderings (small groups)  A1. Thinking about your responses to the previous questions, how would you design this space to be an interactive sustainability space? How do you envision yourself using this space? What sort of sustainability-related programming would be offered in the space? Take some time to brainstorm and express your ideas on paper. Be creative! (7 min)  > Display large renderings of options (plenary)  A2. Thinking specifically about rendering [A/B/C], what are the strengths of this space? What are the weaknesses? Thinking about the interactive sustainability space that you just designed, what is one thing you would you incorporate into these renderings? (10 min)  A3. Which of these renderings do you think is best for collaborative work? (3 min)  A4. Which of these renderings do you think is best for individual work? (3 min)  A5. What kind of uses can you imagine for the spaces shown in these renderings? (5 min)  A6. For the renderings that you prefer, what feelings or emotions do they generate in you?       (5 min)  A7. Is there anything you would like to add that was not mentioned so far? (5 min)     43  Appendix C - Focus group participant demographic information    44  Appendix D - Coding Plan  Coding Plan:  The following main themes identified in our focus group design inform the development of our coding plan: ● Dimensions of sustainability ○ Environment ○ Social ○ Economic ● Social infrastructure ● Physical infrastructure ● Programming  Preliminary Coding List:  Sustainability on Campus  Question Potential Codes S1. Are you aware of any sustainability-related initiatives on campus? How did you hear about them? ● Sustainability-related initiatives ○ Student-lead initiatives ○ Administration-lead initiatives ○ Research projects ● Sources of information ○ Newsletters ○ Social media ○ Word of mouth S2. When you think of the term “sustainability,” what comes to mind? Do you have a personal definition of sustainability? Please explain. ● Environment ○ Climate change ○ Waste management ○ Energy efficiency ● Social ○ Social interaction ○ Democratic governance ○ Equity ● Economic ○ Cost reduction ○ Profitability   45  Interactive Spaces  Question Potential Codes I1. When you think of the term “interactive,” what comes to mind? What features of a space would make it interactive? If any, what spaces on campus do you consider to be interactive? ● Technology ○ Sensors ○ AV equipment ● Social ○ Collaboration ○ Learning I2. Which student or community spaces do you use most often on campus? What encourages you to use these spaces? What could be done to improve the spaces you frequently use? What factors contributed to using a space for collaborative work (ie. a group project, meeting, etc.)? ● Physical infrastructure ○ Desks ○ Chairs ○ Outlets ○ Technology ○ Enclosed ○ Open ● Social infrastructure ○ Inviting ○ Presence of people ○ Collaboration ○ Flexibility I3. Are there gaps in sustainability spaces or initiatives that the ISC could fill? What kind of information would you be most excited to see in an Interactive Sustainability Centre? ● Sustainability related-programming ○ Volunteer opportunities ○ Paid opportunities ● Centralization of initiatives ● Meeting spaces I4. In imagining an Interactive Sustainability Centre, what would you like the outcomes for the greater campus community to be? Should the focus of the centre be campus, regional, or global? ● Social ○ Innovation ○ Creativity ○ Community ○ Collaboration ○ Communication ● Environment ○ Climate change ○ Waste reduction ○ Energy efficiency   46  Visual-Spatial Activity  Question Potential Codes A1. Thinking about your responses to the previous questions, how would you design this space to be an interactive sustainability space? How do you envision yourself using this space? What sort of sustainability-related programming would be offered in the space? Take some time to brainstorm and express your ideas on paper. Be creative! ● Physical infrastructure ○ Desks ○ Chairs ○ Outlets ○ Technology ○ Enclosed ○ Open  ● Social infrastructure ○ Inviting ○ Presence of people ○ Collaboration ○ Flexibility ● Programming ○ Workshops ○ Discussion ○ Presentations A2. Thinking specifically about rendering [A/B/C], what are the strengths of this space? What are the weaknesses? Thinking about the interactive sustainability space that you just designed, what is one thing you would you incorporate into these renderings? ● Strengths ○ Comfortable ○ Visually appealing ○ Enclosed ○ Open ● Weakness ○ Too small ○ Limited workspace ○ Visually unappealing ○ Too enclosed ○ Too open A3. Which of these renderings do you think is best for collaborative work? ● Quality of the space ○ Open ○ Loud ● Physical infrastructure ○ Seating ○ Technical equipment A4. Which of these renderings do you think is best for individual work? ● Quality of the space ○ Quiet ○ Secluded ● Physical Infrastructure  ○ Desks ○ Outlets 47  A5. What kind of uses can you imagine for the spaces shown in these renderings? ● Programming ○ Workshops ○ Discussion ○ Presentations ○ Information dissemination ● Social ○ Gathering ○ Collaboration A6. For the renderings that you prefer, what feelings or emotions do they generate in you? Why? ● Positive emotions ○ Inspiration ○ Satisfaction ○ Motivation ○ Safety ○ Happiness ● Negative emotions ○ Anger ○ Sadness ○ Discomfort    48  Appendix E - Participatory drawing exercise data Focus group 1 - drawing 1   49   Focus group 2 - drawing 1  50  Focus group 2 - drawing 2   51 


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