Faculty / School of Architecture

Branka Olson

Chair, Interior Design

Dr. Olson is a practitioner-scholar with a focus on generating people-centered built environments that result in positive experiences for individuals, organizations, and communities. As a licensed architect and certified interior designer with a long standing consulting practice, she has defined, designed, and delivered an extensive portfolio of projects for public and private sector clients. Branka’s research resides in the intersection of design theory, organizational behavior, and environmental psychology in examining the experiential effects of built environments on the engagement, satisfaction, and performance of workers. The research has been presented at numerous academic and practitioner conferences, such as The Academy of Management, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Engaged Management Scholarship, and Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conferences and published in journals and proceedings. A second stream of research focuses on the application of design thinking approaches in integrated project delivery methods of construction projects with an emphasis on sustainable, life-cycle benefits. A paper on People-centered Innovation in Lean, Integrated Project Delivery has been published in the Journal of Construction Engineering.


BS Architectural Studies-University of Illinois
BS Interior Design-University of Illinois
Master of Architecture-University of Michigan
PhD., Designing Sustainable Systems -Case Western Reserve University

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