The Market for Facility Programming: A Study of Client Preferences and Decision-Making


  • Lubomir Popov Bowling Green State University



facility programming, facility programming marketing, architectural services marketing, professional services marketing, service marketing, professional services, client decision-making, buying behavior


This paper illustrates the application of qualitative research methods within the field of marketing in terms of methodological considerations as well as structure, logic, and format of the narrative as a product of qualitative thinking. The paper demonstrates the investigative potential of qualitative methodology for understanding unique and emergent situations that are not well known or researched. The research outcomes presented in the paper are intended for informing architectural programmers' marketing strategies, plans, and actions. The research approach is based on Grounded Theory and Symbolic Interactionist principles, as well as on the methodological propositions of naturalistic inquiry. The content area of the paper is situated in the field of marketing of facility programming services. Facility programming (or architectural programming) is a phase of the building planning process. (The term "facility" is not related to the use of the term within focus group research.) Programming provides architectural designers with information about building user needs and patterns of use of space. This information is utilized in the process of architectural design decision-making. The goal of the article is to understand the clients for programming, the way they think, and the decisions they make. The paper is organized in five parts. The methodological part displays the research philosophy and methodology. The second part discusses the contextual forces that shape the considerations and concerns of facility programming clients. The third part provides thick descriptions of the thinking and behavior patterns of the clients. The forth part culminates with a discussion on client needs and wants and the peculiarities of the demand side of the programming market. The fifth part presents concluding remarks and methodological reflections. The paper is intended for researchers interested in the application of qualitative methodology in marketing as well as design and programming firms concerned with improving their positioning within the market. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0402375


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Author Biography

Lubomir Popov, Bowling Green State University

Lubomir POPOV is an assistant professor in Interior Design, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, U.S.A. He holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His research is in the areas of facility programming/planning and sociocultural aspects of built environment. In relation to these areas, he is also interested in organizational design, theory of design, design research, and qualitative research methods.




How to Cite

Popov, L. (2004). The Market for Facility Programming: A Study of Client Preferences and Decision-Making. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2).