Kristi Woolsey

Practice Lead, Creative Environments

Kristi is responsible for leading and growing the Creative Environments practice. She focuses on discovering and defining the connections between environment, culture and outcome. She pulls together interdisciplinary teams to think deeply about the interaction between physical and virtual space, and explores the widest possible definition of “environment” in service of our client’s desired outcome.

Prior to joining MAYA, Kristi worked in Washington, DC as a management consultant, facilitating culture change tied to physical change for federal agencies. She has worked in California and Arizona as a behavioral strategist creating workplace, mixed use development, and hospitality strategies. Kristi was also the CEO of her own firm that provided consultative services for architecture, interiors, FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment), and construction. Additionally, she was on the faculty at Arizona State University teaching in both the Colleges of Architecture and Business, with research focused on the impact physical environment has on human behavior.

Kristi has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, and other top-tier outlets. You can also find her speaking about workplace, culture, community, and the future of work at conferences across the country.

Education

M. Arch, Arizona State University
New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture
Ecole des Beaux Arts, UPA7, Paris
BS Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology

Places I’ve Lived

Memphis, TN
Denver, CO
Knoxville, TN
Huntsville, AL
Southampton, PA
Harvard, MA
Atlanta, GA
Paris, France
New York, NY
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Washington, DC

My Superpower

I am a connector of people and ideas. I notice where there might be a related interest, and then make that available. I see potential in people and situations, and am driven to create a path for that potential to become manifest.

Outside of MAYA

Outside. Playing, camping, hiking, outrigger canoeing or skiing.

Quote That Inspires Me

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
-Lao Tzu

Favorite Places to Visit

The woods, the beach, and Mokolodi park outside of Gabarone, Botswana.

Movies I Love

I love the visual richness of the sets in the movie Diva, the boundless optimism and opportunity for a female lead in Tank Girl, and the classic story of The Princess Bride.

Earliest Memory of Using Something High-Tech

We had a PDP (Digital Equipment minicomputer) in our house when I was in high school. I remember family dinners that included discussions of artificial intelligence and how a computer might actually understand language.

Blog Posts

Working Better in a Hybrid Workplace
Apr 14 2016 in Notes from the Field

It’s time for workplace design to start taking a holistic approach in enhancing employee performance by creating environments that consider both in-office and remote workers.

Strategy for Culture Change
Oct 16 2015 in Notes from the Field

As physical and virtual environments become interdependent, a powerful way of thinking about workplace strategy emerges.

Speaking Engagements

Designing the Workplace of the Future
Mar 31 2016

Kristi Woolsey partnered with the principal architect who designed MAYA’s office to talk about how workplaces can encourage inclusion, inspire creativity, and drive success.

Strata + Hadoop World
Mar 17 2016

Organizations can create a culture that elicits behaviors from its employees, and see an increase in profitability. Kristi Woolsey offers techniques for designing culture to drive results.

Global Workspace Association
Oct 22 2015

Kristi Woolsey talks about how design influences behavior & fosters community. This session will explore the intersection of business strategy, organizational psychology, and facilities strategy.

News

MAYA Engages Community in Planning for New Quaker Valley High School
Nov 03 2016

MAYA uses a human-centered approach to design a new high school for the Quaker Valley community.

Designing Culture: Behavioral Strategy for the Workplace
Jul 18 2016

Give employees the space and tools they need to succeed and they will. MAYA Design’s Kristi Woolsey offers ways to change your environment to promote the kind of employee behavior that gets results.

Why You Should Adopt Google's Approach to Office Layouts
Jun 17 2014

Forbes spoke with Kristi Woolsey about the anthropological research behind Google’s approach to designing office spaces.