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NBBJ Showcases Its Goldilocks App for The Perfect Office Environment

gryphon agency san francisco pr media relations communications marketingArchitecture firm NBBJ was featured in Co.Design and Building Design + Construction for its work on an experimental sensor network and smartphone app called Goldilocks. As open offices deal with noise, uncomfortable temperatures, and distractions, the goal of the Goldilocks app is to help workers find space in the office that is free of these annoyances.

Goldilocks started as an NBBJ hackathon project in their New York office in 2015. The company implemented more than 50 sensors that detect light, noise, and temperature levels. Small clips hung from lights around the office that sent real-time data to the app, assisting users in finding the specific office location that matched their preferences for noise, temperature, and lighting.

“Buildings are the last black boxes of the information age,” said Marc Syp, a creative technologist and design computation leader at NBBJ. He pointed out that while we have apps that give us the weather, the best places to eat and drink, and the ability to order a taxi from anywhere, once we enter buildings, our environment becomes opaque, and we have little control over it or knowledge about it. 

While sensor networks already exist, they are targeted toward facility managers rather than the end users. NBBJ pointed out that they initially were not tracking individuals through the app, but realized that the real value was in understanding building usage and patterns at macro-scale in order to solve problems.


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