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This study aims to find ways to bridge the gap between workplace design and research. Exploring the design process from general design aims to site-specific design makes the process visible to support workplace design research. Participatory design methods were used to understand employees’ needs and preferences in work-related situations to support the design process. The design process was divided into three phases. The office was temporarily refurbished for the intervention study, and evaluation data was collected with qualitative methods.
Participatory design-generated data revealed typical knowledge work needs, such as the need for privacy, interaction, exposure and preferences for the atmosphere in the workspaces during different situations. The authors identified the following key points to obtain design data: design aims, affordance design and site-specific multidimensional design. An intervention study in a small organisation revealed that lack of activity-supporting spaces created undesirable overlaps for focused work, collaborative work and client communication. The findings of this paper are explorative and limited to a small knowledge work company. The present approach identifies valuable data collection points in different design phases of workplace design processes. Sharing knowledge from practice to research and vice versa could inform research and improve workplace design. This study makes the workplace design phases more visible. It supports finding new ways to study the connection between the user-needs and workplaces; and understanding how different design solutions impact workplace experiences, such as satisfaction. This study also brings focus to understanding the versatile needs of small organisations and their workplace design.

Markkanen, P., Juuti, E. and Herneoja, A. (2022), "Exploring ways to study the workplace design in a small knowledge work company", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.


Workplaces are designed to foster a range of activities, such as focused work, collaboration, and recovery, which create dynamic needs in work environments. We applied a context-sensitive experience sampling method (ESM) to collect space-specific data on employees’ immediate experiences from individual workspaces to understand how they support employees’ activities. Needs-supplies fit is a person-environment fit type that has been associated with the physical work environments. The fit formation depends on employees’ activities, activity-related needs, and the surrounding work settings. Understanding the needs-supplies fit at the workplace design level is important, as the fit formation increases employees’ workplace satisfaction. ESM is a repetitive inquiry method that permeates into employees’ daily life, and it can be conceptualised to contain the following key elements: 1) natural environment, 2) immediacy of experience and 3) representative sampling. This study was designed to obtain information on employees’ needs for interaction, privacy, and spatial atmosphere during individual or collaborative activities at assigned workstations, meeting rooms, and breakout area. Our dynamic signal-contingent study setup delivered the questionnaire to employees’ smartphones upon switching the location to collect the immediate experience of the situation. The study was conducted before and during an intervention study, during which organisations’ meeting rooms and a breakout area were refurbished. We qualitatively inspected the ESM parameters, employees’ activities, and their workspace experiences to interpret the ESM results. The questionnaire data revealed differences in privacy, interaction, and atmosphere needs and a high need for appropriate videoconference and withdrawal spaces. Using contextual research methods, such as ESM, promotes understanding of diverse workspaces in relation to activities. Our research draws attention to collaborative workspaces, the surroundings of videoconference meetings, spaces of recovery, and the needs related to their spatial atmospheres.

Markkanen, P., Paananen, V., Hosio, S., and Herneoja, A. (2022).

III TWR Conference - Trandisciplinary workplace research, 7.-10.9.2022, Politecnico Di Milano, Italy


Interior design is an important yet elusive dimension of workplace design research. It is the part of the office design with site-specific features that impact workplace satisfaction and, if overlooked, influences the comparison of typologically similar offices. Our approach builds upon workplace satisfaction and the need-supply fit theories. In addition, we apply the multidimensional framework of instrumental, symbolic, and aesthetic dimensions to communicate the user needs in the workplace design process. In this paper, we present the participatory design workshop method and discuss how its facilitation impacts the outcome of the participant activity and design thinking. This research was done in a multidisciplinary research project and a workplace design intervention study. Our research provides a novel approach to combing participatory design knowledge production and transfer of generated design data into a design process and an academic workplace design research.

Markkanen, P. and Herneoja, A. (2022)Tools for creativity in co-design workshop – Applying participatory design methodology to support the workplace design process. NES2022 Work Well – Conference Proceedings of the 51st NES Conference,  23.-25. October 2022, Uppsala, Sweden


This paper presents our findings on knowledge work environment usage behaviour through a combined automated mobile indoor positioning system and self-reports collected from the environment's inhabitants. Contemporary work environments are increasingly flexible multi-occupant environments as opposed to cellular offices. Understanding persons' task-related and situation-related environmental needs is critical to improve the design of future knowledge work environments. This study is conducted in a team office environment prior to and following an intervention in which the office layout was re-organized. The combined methodological approach described in this paper provides a new tool for architecture researchers aiming to understand the use of workspaces. Importantly, combining self-reports with context-aware location data collection provides researchers an efficient in situ tool to access participants experiences and decision-making process in choosing their workstation or workspace.

Markkanen, P., van Berkel, N., Visuri, A., LeSaint, A., Ferreira, D., & Herneoja, A. (2019) In: Sousa, J. P., Henriques, G. C., Xavier, J. P. (eds.) eCAADe SIGraDI 2019: Architecture in the age of the 4th industrial revolution proceedings: the Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe & the 23rd Conference of the Iberoamerican Society Digital Graphics, Vol. 2, pp. 837-846.


Adaptive lighting technologies and control of lighting by users provide new possibilities for lighting design in the context of knowledge work environments. In our research project, we study innovation supporting knowledge work environments and their features, such as lighting. In this paper, we present and reflect the design of a pilot intervention, where the use of adaptive lighting was tested. We discuss how different forms of data and knowledge can be applied as a rationale for adaptive lighting behaviour which as an ambient feature in office environment supports knowledge workers' well-being and supports different working situations. In addition, we present the data-based evaluation methods with which we could gain feedback from users' experiences and their way of using the lighting and the pilot office environment. The potential of this kind of real-world data for future design processes is discussed.

Markkanen, P., Pihlajaniemi, H. & Herneoja, A. (2017) Adaptive Lighting for Knowledge Work Environments - A Pilot Design. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Vol 1, 343-352



Markkanen, P., Juuti, E. & Herneoja, A. (2020) Creating need-supply fit affordances in knowledge work environments through user-centred design processes. In "Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference 2020", 16th -19th of September 2020, Frankfurt, Germany.

Herneoja, A., Markkanen, P., & Juuti, E. (2020) Towards an activity-based office ecosystem to support three-dimensional spatial understanding in a transdisciplinary context. In "Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference 2020", 16th -19th of September 2020, Frankfurt, Germany.


Markkanen, P. (2018) Innovation supporting knowledge work environments. CA²RE (Conference for Artistic and Architectural (Doctoral) Research), 8th - 9th April 2017, KU Leuven, Gent, Belgium 

Markkanen, P. & Mykkänen, A. (2016) User-Centric Approach for Architectural Design of Knowledge Work Environments. In Nordic Working Life Conference, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland, November 2-4, 2016

Markkanen, P. & Herneoja, A. (2016) In Search of Design Parameters for Well-Being and Creativity in Knowledge Work Environments. In Complexity & Simplicity- Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Education and research in Computer Architectural Design in Europe (Vol. 2, pp. 179-188), Oulu, Finland, August 24-26, 2016

Herneoja, A., Pihlajaniemi, H., Österlund, T., Luusua, A., Markkanen, P (2015). Remarks on Transdisciplinarity as Basis for Conducting Research by Design Teamwork in Real World Context Through Two Case Studies of Algorithm Aided lighting Design. . In Real Time – Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Education and research in Computer Architectural Design in Europe, Prague, Czech Republic, September 14-18, 2015

Luusua, A., Ylipulli, J., Jurmu, M., Pihlajaniemi, H., Markkanen, P. & Ojala, T. (2015) Evaluation Probes. In Proc. CHI’15: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Seoul, Korea, Apr 18–23, 2015.

Markkanen, P. (2014). Knowledge Work in Campus Environment: Opportunities of New Technologies in Working and Learning Spaces. Proceedings of the 6th Annual Architectural Research Symposium in Finland 2014: Designing and Planning the Built Environment for Human Well-being in the 6th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research 2014, October 23-25, Oulu, Finland

Pihlajaniemi, H., Luusua, A., Markkanen, P., Herneoja, A. & Pentikäinen, V. (2014). Experiencing Adaptive Retail Lighting in a Real-World Pilot. Proceedings of Experiencing Light 2014, International Conference on the effects of Light on Wellbeing, November 10-11, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Pihlajaniemi, H., Luusua, A., Markkanen, P., Österlund, T., Herneoja, A., Pentikäinen, V. & Sarjanoja, E. (2014). Implicit Interactions of Intelligent Lighting in a Retail Space​. Position paper for the workshop Beyond the Switch: Explicit and Implicit Interaction with Light in NordiCHI 2014 conference, 26 October, Helsinki, Finland.


Piia Markkanen (2012) 

Doctoral dissertation

University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology

The delta opioid receptor (δOR) is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor family. This transmembrane receptor has an important role in the regulation of pain. The OPRD1 gene that encodes the human δOR (hδOR) contains at least 11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The only nonsynonymous SNP resides in the amino-terminal (N-terminal) domain of the receptor and it replaces Phe at position 27 with Cys, thus introducing an unpaired Cys residue on the extracellular surface of the receptor. The Cys27 variant has been shown to have an allelic frequency of about 10% in Caucasian populations. The polymorphic site is flanked by two putative N-glycosylation sites at Asn18 and Asn33. In this study, the folding, maturation and trafficking of hδOR was assessed using the hδORPhe27and hδORCys27 variants and the N-glycosylation deficient forms of the latter as models in a heterologous expression system. The effects of N-glycosylation and the unpaired Cys-residue were studied with various biochemical, pharmacological and cell biological methods. In addition, protein-protein interactions of the intracellular hδOR precursors were assessed. 

The hδORCys27 and hδORPhe27 variants differed significantly in their subcellular localization and maturation efficiency. The newly synthesized hδORCys27 was found to accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) prior to its ER-associated degradation in proteasomes. Although a slow maturation rate was characteristic for both variants, only the hδORCys27 had poor maturation efficiency. The cell surface expression of hδORCys27 was further decreased because the constitutive internalization of this receptor was enhanced compared to hδORPhe27.

N-linked glycosylation was not required for hδOR function or ligand binding, but was important for the expression of the correctly folded receptor species at the cell surface. The mutant non-N-glycosylated receptor was shown to traffic to the cell surface with enhanced kinetics, but some of the plasma membrane receptors were in a nonnative conformation. Also, the overall levels of the non-N-glycosylated hδORCys27 were decreased as the receptor was efficiently internalized for lysosomal degradation in a constitutive fashion. 

The hδORCys27 and hδORPhe27 precursors were found to interact with several ER localized proteins, such as calnexin (CNX), protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and ERp72. The receptors also associated with the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2b (SERCA2b), which was shown to occur during translocation of the receptor to the ER membrane or immediately thereafter. The interaction was not receptor N-glycan dependent and the normal functional activity of SERCA2b was shown to be required for proper cell surface expression of hδOR.



Lackman, J. J., Markkanen, P. M., Hogue, M., Bouvier, M., & Petäjä-Repo, U. E. (2014). N-Glycan Dependent and Independent Quality Control of Human Delta Opioid Receptor N-Terminal Variants. J Biol Chem, 289: 17830-17842

Leskelä, T.T.*, Markkanen, P.M.*, Alahuhta, I.A., Tuusa, J.T., Petäjä-Repo, U.E. (2009) Phe27Cys polymorphism alters the maturation and subcellular localization of the human delta opioid receptor. Traffic. Jan;10(1):116-29.  (* Authors contributed equally to this work)

Markkanen, P.M., Petäjä-Repo, U.E. (2008) N-glycan-mediated quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum is required for the expression of correctly folded delta-opioid receptors at the cell surface. J Biol Chem. Oct 24;283(43):29086-98.

Tuusa, J.T., Markkanen, P.M., Apaja, P.M., Hakalahti, A.E., Petäjä-Repo, U.E. (2007) The Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca(2+)-pump SERCA2b Interacts with G Protein-coupled Receptors and Enhances their Expression at the Cell Surface. J Mol Biol. 2007 Aug 17;371(3):622-38

Leskelä, T.T., Markkanen, P.M., Pietilä, E.M., Tuusa, J.T., Petäjäjä-Repo, U.E. (2007) Opioid receptor pharmacological chaperones act by binding and stabilizing newly synthesized receptors in the endoplasmic reticulum. J Biol Chem. 2007 Aug 10;282(32):23171-83

Petäjä-Repo, U.E., Hogue, M., Leskelä, T.T., Markkanen, P.M., Tuusa, J.T. & Bouvier, M. (2006) Distinct subcellular localization for constitutive and agonist-modulated palmitoylation of the human delta opioid receptor. J Biol Chem. 2006 Jun 9;281(23):15780-9

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