More than 150 of Australia’s leading practitioners in workplace design and wellbeing gathered together in Melbourne on 15 July for Work Place/Work Life, a one-day forum about the future of workplace design.
Presented by Architecture Media, the Design Speaks forum was structured around three sessions, each commencing with a keynote address and followed by a moderated panel discussion and audience questions.
The first keynote address, titled “S TO XL workplaces across the globe,” was presented by David Gianotten, head of OMA’s Asia Pacific portfolio. Through a presentation of OMA projects around the world, including Shenzhen Stock Exchange headquarters in China, and the Rothschild Bank in London, Gianotten illustrated how architecture can define the workplace of specific people or companies, but also that of the people in the city, bringing new possibilities of working and living.
The second keynote address, presented by Remi Ayoko, senior lecturer and researcher at The University of Queensland Business School, looked at employee territories and the impact this has on open plan offices. Ayoko presented her new international research, which highlighted the importance of employees having psychological ownership of their workspace, and the paradoxes between employee privacy and noise, and open plan offices.
The final keynote address was from Timothy Sharp, founder of The Happiness Institute with his presentation “Positive Places – integrating happiness research into design.” Through studies on positive psychology and unexpected design examples such as Disneyland, Sharp explored how fostering positive emotions through design and play, can lead to greater workplace happiness, staff morale and productivity.
Work Place/Work Life thanks its sponsors ISIS (principal partner) and Planned Cover (major partner).
The next one-day forum is Old School/New School in Sydney on 14 October 2014. It will focus on the issues shaping architecture for teaching and learning.