Designing Academic Libraries for Modern Human Behavior

Sponsored by Agati Furniture and Tappé Architects
Recorded on 05/02/2017

Posted in Library Leadership and Management


Creating contemporary academic library spaces that work with natural instincts and human behavior can sound intimidating. What are natural human behaviors? What do students seek out in spaces, and what makes them appealing to our senses? And how can we design our academic library spaces with these things in mind? Joe Agati Jr., Director of Design at AGATI Furniture, and Jeff Hoover, Principal at Tappé Architects in Boston, MA, in cooperation with ACRL, present Designing Academic Libraries for Modern Human Behavior.

This webinar will provide a basic understanding of the natural human behaviors and instincts that drive our everyday lives, such as the desire to be in a secure environment and the need to have vision of your surroundings. Within this framework of understood natural human behaviors, Jeff and Joe will help you learn how you can design your academic library space to promote comfort and security within the details – everything from the pitch of the seat and the ability to maintain your personal bubble, to the sightlines promoted in the architecture of the building and the access to natural light and power resources matters in promoting comfort for our human instincts that trigger our internal fight or flight.

Furniture and architecture that work well together in academic library spaces have proven time and time again to put our instinctual fears at ease and allow us to spend those hours tucked away in the comfy chair reading a novel or at a computer completing a task. Now, it’s time to understand why this happens and how to better design our academic libraries with these things in mind.


Jeff Hoover

Jeffrey Hoover specializes in programming, planning and design of learning environments, with particular focus on libraries. In the past 35 years, Tappé Architects has designed over 90 libraries across the country and internationally. Mr. Hoover has been actively involved with architectural conferences and symposiums throughout the country, speaking on: future libraries, historic renovations and additions, and the influence of technology on the practice of architecture. He has been an instructor for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design’s Office of Executive Education, teaching Library Planning and Design, since 1999. Jeff has recently been Chair of the Architecture for Public Libraries Committee for the American Library Association and a committee member since 2001.

Joe S. Agati

Joe S. Agati is a formally trained Industrial Designer. He started his career with Radio Flyer, project managing their product development department. It was here he realized his fascination with analyzing human behavior. By observing what he calls “key user insights,” he was able to turn them into products that positively impact people’s lives. In 2012, he joined Agati Furniture, the family business his father started in 1981, as Director of Design. Agati Furniture has a history as innovators in the public space furniture industry. This stems from user behavior observation and the company’s ability to transform those observations into innovative products. In the past 4 years, Joe S. has lead Agati’s product development with new innovative products like the POD, POD Duo, and Power Bar, all of which directly result from observing people’s behavior in public spaces and identifying ways to improve their experience.