Sue Weidemann, PhD, is an environmental psychologist who, for over 35 years, has studied the relationships between people and the places and spaces they use, through her research, teaching, and consulting.
Prior to joining BOSTI Associates in 1994, Weidemann taught research-based design decision-making to Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and Planning students for 25 years at the University of Illinois, in Urbana-Champaign. While there, she authored or coauthored more than 40 articles, book chapters, and reports. In addition, six of her team projects received eight national awards or recognition for applied research.
At BOSTI Associates, her work has focused on the workplace, quantitatively measuring the effects of workplace design upon important business metrics such as job satisfaction, team performance, and the productivity of office workers. These measures allowed BOSTI to identify those qualities of the workplace that have the strongest effects on these business metrics, enabling the prioritization of aspects of the workplace which would lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
As Director of Research since 1994, Weidemann developed BOSTI's data-gathering methods, supervising data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The resulting analyses led directly to development of concepts which were incorporated, through collaborative work with designers, clients, and their other consultants, into the design and planning of high-performance workplaces. She also collected data across a wide variety of projects and client situations to create and maintain a large experiential database (now containing data from over 15,000 workers in diverse industries) for use in BOSTI Associates' research, as well as to provide information about "comparables" to clients. At BOSTI Associates, Weidemann’s project experience includes design and utilization of all quantitative research tools, and the analyses and interpretations for all BOSTI projects, from 1994 to 2007; co-project manager, cross-organization analysis of BOSTI’s 13,000-person database (1998-2004); project manager, used as the basis for “Disproving Widespread Myths about Workplace Design” (Brill, M., Weidemann, S. and BOSTI Associates, 2001); the development of reliable research tools for each project, making them responsive to specific client culture and needs.
Since retiring BOSTI in 2007, Weidemann has done selective research on a part-time basis, collaborating with various firms and individuals. As well, she continues to review manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals and professional organizations. She also occasionally serves on thesis or dissertation committees for students in various departments and universities. Additionally, she developed a continuing education course for IDCEC, in collaboration with Frank Lytle, of Transwall. She is a recipient of the 2014 Career Award from the Environmental Design Research Association in recognition of her “significant and lasting” contributions to environmental design research, practice and teaching.
Weidemann joined the School of Architecture and Planning in 2011, serving as a senior consultant to the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access and a visiting professor in the Department of Architecture, where she both teaches and advises student research in inclusive design.
She received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.