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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
"One of the gurus of workplace design" …
Michael BrillFebruary 21, 1936 – July 26, 2002
Brill, an architectural theorist, Professor of Design at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and president of BOSTI Associates, died on July 26, 2002.
Brill's career successfully combined the rigorous research and design emphasis of his academic background with business-based, innovative workplace solutions to organizational problems. BOSTI (Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation) has a long history and reputation as innovators in workplace design and use – integrating an organization's work environments with their business goals, work processes, and technology to enhance employees' performance, client service, and job satisfaction.
He published more than 50 papers, articles, monographs and book sections, and is the author of a much-consulted two-volume work, Using Office Design to Increase Productivity. Two of his workplace publications are widely distributed and translated into other languages: The Office as A Tool and New Offices, No Offices, Now Offices … Wild Times in the World of Office Work. He also wrote an eclectic monthly column for Interiors Magazine (1995-1997).
He won many awards for his design-oriented research and, in 1999, was honored with the "Star Award" from IIDA, the International Interior Design Association, for his outstanding leadership to the interior design profession. In 1990, he was named "Distinguished Author of the Year" by the International Facility Management Association.
The Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, has established "The Michael Brill Fund" to keep his legacy and his scholarly pursuits alive in the annual life of the university. The fund will be used for a Memorial Lecture, a Visiting Teaching Fellowship, or student scholarships, depending on the amount of money raised. Checks should be made payable to: The Michael Brill Fund, c/o UB Foundation, Box 900, Buffalo, New York 14226-0900.
Below are some quotes posted to an Internet listserver following Brill's death:
Forty years later I can still vividly remember Michael Brill demonstrating the meaning of "SPACE" with his wide-open hands stretched in front of him. As his hands moved closer and closer to each other he yelled out, "You see that? … Now THAT is space." By the time we understood what he had meant, his chubby hands had made skin-to-skin contact and "SPACE" was no more (Michael Senet).
The vision that Mike gave to me personally through his research about the impact of workplace design on behavior has allowed me to grow. I consider him a teacher. I am a better researcher and teacher myself because of Mike (Virginia Kupritz).
To their dismay, Michael was immune to their pleas. He was a child. This took a fair amount of thinking outside the box, but in all his life Michael never had a single thought inside the box (From the desk of Professor John C.G. Boot).
My take on architecture is that it is a place within a place, he said in 1988. You really get good civic buildings when someone is paying attention to what's going on around him. . . . I'm much more interested in the proliferation of the good, not the great (Quote of Michael Brill reproduced).
Another chapter is closed. Thank you Professor Brill.