Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG). Across our close to five decades of consulting, Orfield Labs has been instrumental in putting together collaborative groups to focus on specific issues, to come together at seminars, and to share in collaborations with clients, designers and providers of measurement and modeling tools.


In 1991, OL founded the Sound Quality Working Group in partnership with Bruel & Kjaer, TEAC, Yamaha, Sennheiser, SMS, Lab View and Cortex. This working group was the first group in U.S. to take on the field of sound quality as a field involving market research, acoustics, psychology, human perception and a combination of objective and subjective measurement.


This approach lead to 10 years of seminars and consulting for Harley Davidson, Whirlpool, Black & Decker, Kohler, JI Case, Cessna Aircraft, Briggs and Stratton, 3M, Burger King, and many others.

Open Plan Working Group (OPWG)

Open Plan Working Group (OPWG)

Open Plan Working Group (OPWG). In 1998, OL founded the Open Plan Working Group, with sponsors over the next ten years including Herman Miller, Haworth, Philips, Hunter Douglas, Lutron, Daybrite, and many others. This was the first Research Based Design (RBD) collaboration in the United States focused on workplace design.

Over 20 seminars were held to share in the practice of design, research and testing across the workplace arena, and this resulted in hundreds of workplace projects for firms across the U.S.

Architectural Research Consortium (ARC)

Architectural Research Consortium (ARC)

Architectural Research Consortium (ARC). In 2006, OL founded the Architectural Research Consortium to work with the small number of architects in the U.S. who were committed to moving into the research-based design arena.  This was a continuation of the Open Plan Working Group’s mission to teach RBD to many of the medium size architects who were not too large or too conservative to take on this practice.  We subsequently added semi annual and annual seminars to this second RBD group, for a total of 33 national seminars to date at our Labs in Minneapolis.

ARC - Autism Design Research Conference

Autism Design Research Conference

Next Steps. These groups all continue to do individual training in design, research and testing for these fields in order that the sciences available to product and architectural designers are available to practitioners at most levels of practice.

Perceptual & Cognitive Working Group - (PCWG)

Our next working group will be the Perceptual & Cognitive Working Group, and this group is in formation to carry out the application of 15 years worth of Orfield Labs research on design for disability areas such as Aging, Dementia, Autism, Mental Illness, PTSD, ADHD, SPD, Deafness and Blindness. 

About 40% of the occupants of most buildings have these disabilities  and losses.  We will have manufacturing sponsors for each different product type needed, such as lighting, office systems, ceilings, walls, flooring, audio, daylighting, thermal comfort and indoor air quality, This group will be moving toward a quantitative standard (and Exemplar Standards) for Universal Design for buildings serving all these disabilities.