Where Are They Now: Leigh Ann Bryan’s Cautious Confabulation Submission

Leigh Ann Bryan’sCautious Confabulation’ submission was a winner in the Office Building Lobby / Amenity Space category in the 2020 Next Work Environment Competition. Find out what she’s up to today!

Leigh Ann Bryan Cautious Confabulation

Leigh Ann Bryan’s ‘Cautious Confabulation’ submission was a winner in the Office Building Lobby / Amenity Space category in the 2020 Next Work Environment Competition. The theme behind her submission took the form of a design paradox: how can common areas in an office enhance social opportunities during the time of coronavirus? The Cautious Confabulation project consisted of a series of conceptual design solutions that sought to address this paradox by reimagining how public space could better serve the human need for interaction. Check out the full submission here.

We checked back in with Leigh Ann to see what she is up to today and how her submission has evolved in past few years.

Leigh Ann Bryan
Interior Designer, Mithun
M.A. of Interior Design at Washington State University



What has happened with the project since the competition?

My submission was a reworking of my senior capstone project at Washington State University—so it was a completely conceptual solution.

If the idea has evolved, what were the changes and why?

The primary idea itself hasn’t evolved, though if I were to change or add anything to it, I would like to run it through a DEI lens. As the pandemic unfolded it became obvious that certain populations—service workers and low-income earners (who are predominately people of color), working mothers, and the differently-abled—contended with far more difficult circumstances than others. The goal of Cautious Confabulation was to reimagine common areas of an office in order to enhance social opportunities, safely, during pandemic times. Being cognizant of everyone’s needs and designing with that in mind could only have improved my project.

What are you working on now?

I graduated from my master’s program this May. My thesis project was research-based and looked at how the storytelling mechanisms of narrative transportation and identification could potentially be used to deepen a user’s experience in a space. It was pretty experimental, very fun, and I’d love to follow up on it at some point. For now, I’m excited to focus on my next venture: I just started working as an interior designer with Mithun in Seattle.

Do you have an innovative idea?

Tell us about it today!


Special thanks to our 2022 Competition Partners:


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