Open Plan Design

What is Open Plan Workspace? As applied at UCSF, and incorporating lessons learned in Mission Hall, Open Plan Workspace consists of individual work space (including open work stations and private offices), shared work spaces (focus rooms, huddle rooms, conference rooms and learning spaces) and larger communal spaces (town centers and breakout spaces).

At the request of campus leadership and the UCSF Academic Senate, UCSF commissioned a workplace research project to assess satisfaction, well-being, work effectiveness, and engagement prior to, and following, the occupancy of Mission Hall. The research team was comprised of UCSF Principal Investigator Dr. Nancy Adler, Dr. Janice Barnes (and staff from the architectural firm Perkins+Will), Dr. Jean Wineman from the University of Michigan, and Dr. John Peponis from Georgia Tech. The team also collaborated with the Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley.

The team assessed opportunities and challenges in the use of Activity-Based Workplace design strategies at UCSF, and the effectiveness of the new Mission Hall workspace in supporting individuals, teams, and departments. Further, the team developed workplace research methodologies in support of a project design process that is research-informed and broadly applicable to workplace types and work settings at UCSF. Download and view the summary page and final report here.  Faculty response to the survey is available here.

A UCSF Open Plan Workspace Task Force was convened in November 2015. The Task Force is charged with developing principles and policies on the programming, allocation, and governance in open plan workspace environments at UCSF. The final report is available for download here.

Principles and policies include:

  • Configuration of desktop space in an open plan environment.
  • Guidelines for allocation of offices and workstations, as well as support spaces.
  • Environmental principles including acoustics, ergonomics, privacy concerns, features of shared spaces, signage and displays.
  • Technology principles.
  • Governance principles and policies.


Open Plan Workspace Task Force Town Hall took place on Friday February 5, 2016. The presentation is available for download here. A recording of the session is available: webcast link.

Advisory Group Members

Open Plan Workspace Advisory Group membership with representatives from every floor of Mission Hall, as well as input from Campus Planning, Capital Programs and the SOM Dean's Office.

  • Robert Hiatt, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Dixie Horning, Interim Women's Health Administrative Director, UCSF Health and Associate Chair, OBGYN & RS, and Department of History, Anthropology and Social Medicine
  • Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Chief for the Division of Prevention Science, and Director of the Center for Prevention Studies and UCSF Prevention Research Center
  • Georgina Lopez, Director of Finance and Administration for the AIDS Research Institute, Global Health Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Janet Myers, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine
  • David Teitel, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, and Medical Director of the UCSF Pediatric Heart Center
  • Greg Tong, Senior Program Manager, Clinical & Translational Science Institute
  • Alan Venook, MD, Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research
  • Campus Planning: Lori Yamauchi, Associate Vice Chancellor
  • Capital Programs: Michael Bade, Associate Vice Chancellor
  • SOM Dean's Office: Cristina Morrison, Manager, Change Management and Facilities

Download communications from EVC&P Dan Lowenstein to Mission Hall occupants