Spacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast

A podcast about workplace design, and how well designed workplaces can be transformative.

Spacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast

The Spacecraft Podcast series reviews and examines how well-designed workspaces can be transformative, not just for day-to-day working, but for businesses as a whole.

Dan Moscrop, Founder and CEO of them, speaks with leading businesses to see how design has impacted their workspaces. We interview the directors of co-working organisations that are leading the charge on how office spaces should be created, and the architects behind some of the most innovative office environments being worked in today.

 
 

WorkPlace Trends – why building Human Experience into the workplace is crucial

 

Simone Fenton-Jarvis: how to transform your workplace culture

Show notes

Simone shares insights on workplace culture garnered from 13 years of working within property management, facilities management, and workplace.

For Simone, a successful and productive workplace is about achieving a balance between people and space. It should evolve, responding to the needs of companies as they chance, and providing different spaces for different tasks.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • The importance of learning and the 100 book challenge

  • The ingredients for a healthy workplace culture

  • What is a Chief Workplace Officer, and what do they do?

  • How can you successfully introduce dogs into the office, and why?

  • The potential for the Internet of Things to change the workplace



About Simone

Simone Fenton-Jarvis has brought 13 years of experience as workplace thought-leader to her new role at Ricoh.

Having worked at Twinkl, Nether Edge, and Sheffield City Council, and gained an MBA in Facilities Management, she has a wealth of experience in the sector. During her time at Twinkl, staff engagement scores reached 88%, employee experience 92% and Facilities NPS 100; culminating with the “Employer of the Year” award for physical workplace and culture. 

Today she is the Workplace Consultancy Development Director of Ricoh UK where she works with organisations to unlock their potential through the co-creation of human-centric workplaces.

Simone is also a member of the editorial committee for Facilitate, a member of the editorial steering committee panel for Facilities Management Journal and a member of IWFM Workspace Special Interest Group.

Connect with Simone on LinkedIn

Follow Simone on twitter

Optimising Workspace with Ricoh

 

Simon Borg: bringing brands to life in some of the world's greatest stadiums

Show notes

In this episode, I talk with Simon Borg, Creative Director of Populous Activate. We discuss many of the projects Simon has worked on: from wayfinding in a zoo at the beginning of his career, to large projects such as the London O2 and the Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium. Simon provides fascinating insights into what he's learnt, and what he thinks will be the key challenges in the future. 

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Why architecture and wayfinding need to work together

  • How sponsorship can influence the experience of a building

  • Why should you make brand part of a building?

  • How to give sports fans a sense of home

  • The Populous approach - marrying brand and architecture



About Simon

Simon is the Creative Director of Populous Activate, the brand activation arm of Populous. His is a job many designers who are sports fans will envy, bringing brands (and teams) to life in some of the world's greatest stadiums. 

As a designer, Simon is passionate about exploring the relationship between environmental graphics and branding, and its influence on the customer experience within the built environment. He has worked for several multidisciplinary creative agencies in both Melbourne and London, where he has developed wayfinding signage programmes for cultural and entertainment venues in Australia through to branded environments and rights activation programmes for stadia and arenas in Europe and the Middle East before joining Populous as creative director of Populous Activate.

Simon was the lead designer of brand activation of The O2 arena in London and has since delivered a number of other major projects, including the London 2012 Olympic Games multi-venue wayfinding, and the Cadbury’s London 2012 Olympics brand activation. Simon also led the development of fan engagement programs for the Premier League and the naming rights activation programme for Olympique Lyonnais in France.



Mijail Gutierrez: how can spaces influence people’s behaviour?

Show notes

In this episode, we talk with Mijail Gutierrez, Associate Principle at Perkins and Will. Mijail’s aim is for his work to make a difference to people’s lives. With a background in architecture and studies in interior and the philosophy of design, he draws inspiration from a range of sources and disciplines. 

Thanks to an incredibly curious personality and a passion for his work, for Mijail it is important to bring a human dimension to design. This is evident in the projects he’s worked on, whether creating a transformative tech hub for a professional services firm, or encouraging collaboration and increasing efficiency at The Economist London’s new office space.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Drawing inspiration from the great thinkers from philosophy

  • How architecture and the built environment can have an impact on people’s lives

  • Integrating art into spaces using the landscape and the local climate.

  • How Perkins and Will encourage innovation and ensure quality

  • Transforming how The Economist works together through design

 

About Mijail

Attracted to architecture as a platform to positively influence people's experiences through imagination, rigour and artistic expression, Mijail completed his architectural studies in Venezuela. Later, his was drawn to interiors as a means to make a difference more quickly, through a medium which is closer to people’s everyday lives. Today, at Perkins and Will, he enjoys constantly challenging his own working practices, all while ensuring that clients’ needs are reflected through design. 



Nigel Oseland: design that fosters collaboration, alleviates loneliness, and supports wellbeing

Show notes

We were delighted to welcome the renowned Nigel Oseland to this episode of the Spacecraft podcast. Nigel is an environmental psychologist, workplace strategist, change manager, researcher, author and international speaker.

We discussed a variety of important issues in the workplace sector today, from loneliness and wellbeing, to the difference between interaction and collaboration, and what persuades someone to like or dislike a space.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Creating spaces that foster collaboration

  • Can we help alleviate workplace loneliness through design?

  • The advantages to open plan offices, and why these aren’t often mentioned

  • How going for a walk can help foster creativity

  • Links between workplace design and wellbeing

 

About Nigel

Nigel started his career as a researcher, gaining a PhD in Psychology and Engineering, before going on to work in the commercial sector. Today, he runs Workplace Unlimited, a consultancy providing advice on workplace strategy and change management, as well as lecturing part-time at UCL on wellbeing in buildings, and space management.

He works with his clients to redefine their workstyles and create cost-effective and space-efficient workplaces that enhance concentration, collaboration, creativity and business performance. Where appropriate, he helps design and implement sustainable agile working environments.

Nigel’s approach to consulting is to apply his knowledge, obtained through both academic research and practical experience, to workplace strategy and design. He is a firm believer in evidence-based design and delivering unique workplaces that support the occupying business. As a psychologist, he campaigns for workplaces that cater for all personality types.

Connect with Nigel on LinkedIn

Workplace Unlimited

Blog

Follow Nigel on Twitter

Kursty Groves: the importance of purpose in workplace design

Show notes

Consultant and Author Kursty Groves joined Dan to discuss how transforming a workspace can lead to a more creative business. She shares insights and stories from her time working with Lego Labs, Airbnb, and the Cabinet Office, as well as research and interviews for her two books. Kursty emphasises how important it is to step back and consider the values of the business, and what you need your people to do. In her work as a Consultant, Kursty aims to give people the tools and the insight to be able to lead change. 

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Kursty’s 5 E’s philosophy: efficiency, effectiveness, expression, empowerment, and evolution

  • The benefits of having four generations in the workforce at the same time

  • The motivations behind her two books

  • Key ingredients for successful, innovative workplaces

  • Next steps for Shape

 

About Kursty

Kursty began her career as an engineer, before moving into industrial design, product design, and then working with ?What If! in London and New York. It was there that she started to see the importance of environment for creativity and feel a yearning to create herself, which led to her first book, I Wish I Worked There! – involving over 50 businesses to investigate how they created inspiring working environments. After starting to work as a Workplace Innovation Consultant, she began work on her second book, Spaces for Innovation, published in 2016, which examined the key ingredients behind successful innovative workplaces around the world. Today, Kursty has her own consulting firm, Shape, where she works with large, medium and small business to co-create great places to work. She is also a postgraduate professor at IE University on space for innovation.

Kursty’s website

Shape’s website

Follow Kursty on twitter


Jeremy Spratley: the workplace of today and tomorrow - meeting employee expectations

Show notes

Jeremy, Founder and MD of Spratley & Partners, and Dan, Founder at Them Design, chat about the evolving workplace and how to meet these expectations. Jeremy shares his journey from his first independent job working on a sandwich shop back in 2005 and designing business parks, to today, where he has a staff of 40, a satellite office in Bristol, and works on large projects across many sectors.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • What is an office today, and what will it look like in the future?

  • How technology is impacting design

  • The importance of a real work-life balance

  • Jeremy’s favourite type of projects to work on

  • The need for a holistic approach, with branding, design and commerciality working together

About Jeremy

Jeremy says he was ‘born into architecture’ with architects abounding in the family. Indeed, today he enjoys working with his son, and is inspired by his 91 year old father who continues to work every day. In 2005, having worked punishing hours for others in the industry, he started his own practice in 2005, with the aim of achieving a better quality of life and moving out of London.

Starting by working on business parks and smaller projects, these days he works with his team of 40 on large commercial and residential project across a variety of industries.

Spratley & Partners’ website

Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn

Follow Spratley & Partners on twitter

 

John Riddell: a flexible approach to space – what we can learn from theatre design

Show notes

Looking at the workplace from a slightly different angle, in this episode I spoke with John Riddell of Theatre Projects about acoustics, lighting, and all things theatre design.

Although those of us outside the world of theatre may have this perception of it as a relaxed environment, the reality is quite different, and we talk about the associated pressures and challenges. He shares some insights gleaned from examining over 100 performing arts spaces, and the impact of digital innovation in the industry. We also discuss what theatre workspaces look like and how they can be improved, and the importance of public spaces, and how some theatres such as the National Theatre and the Barbican have been successful in meeting this need.

 

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Control rooms, rehearsal rooms, and dressing rooms – what do well designed theatre workplaces look like?

  • The different needs of external public spaces and auditoria in theatres

  • How theatres can be designed to respond to the requirements of each show

  • Prioritising infrastructure and structure over the latest tech

  • Why we can’t be prescriptive in designing how a space will be used

 

About John

John Riddell is a Senior Consultant at Theatre Projects, a theatre consultancy founded in 1957. John comes from a background in theatre production and lighting and worked in theatres in Northern Ireland and Scotland. He brings this knowledge and experience to his current role, where he works with architects to deliver successful and future-proof theatre construction or refurbishment projects. He is also completing his PhD in theatre design, in which he examines and analyses theatre spaces in Northern Ireland.

Connect with John on LinkedIn

Theatre Projects’ website

 

Toby Mildon: designing inclusively creates a better environment for everyone

Show notes

Diversity is good business. Diversity and Inclusion Expert Toby Mildon joins us to explain how designing from an inclusive perspective results in a more user-friendly building for everyone. We consider why the bare minimum is not enough for a future-proof and pleasant environment, and the benefits and disadvantages to technological developments. Toby challenges the very notion of diversity and what we traditionally consider it to mean, likening it to an iceberg. 

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Why diversity and inclusion are business critical

  • How businesses can become agile, and why this is essential

  • How diversity and inclusion can affect your customers

  • Predictions or hopes for the future of diversity and inclusion

  • The journey from thinking about diversity to creating an inclusive workplace culture

 

About Toby

Having worked managing diversity and inclusivity in-house at the BBC and Deloitte, Toby started his own business, Mildon, in early 2019. He works with HR directors and senior business figures to solve systemic bias problems and create inclusive work cultures. Recently he has worked with Sony and HarperCollins Publishing, published the book Inclusive Growth, and runs a flagship accelerator programme for HR directors.

Connect with Toby on LinkedIn

Follow Toby on Twitter

Mildon’s website

 

Rob Haworth: the importance of interior-led architecture

Show notes

Rob Haworth, Associate Director at LTS Architects joined us for this episode, giving a sense of passion for his work and the breadth of his experience. Rob’s philosophy focuses on understanding the client, their needs and wants as well as those of the building. He believes it is key to focus not just on a building’s exterior, but also to invest energy into its interior. A lot of his work involves reimagining buildings and spaces, which is both essential and exciting.

We discuss in particular his team’s work on the Drysdale building at City, University of London. This challenging and risky project produced an outstanding end result, increasing capacity from 240 to 400 workspaces, and proving a popular study spot for students.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • The value of interior-led architecture

  • The advantages to working for a small architecture practice

  • Using BIM to constantly model in 3D all the way through a project

  • How a risky interior decision can end up being a great success

  • Different workplace needs and preferences

About Rob

Rob was classically trained, studying in Edinburgh and Sheffield, before working for Wilkinson Eyre on large scale projects. After seven years, he was keen to work on smaller, more intimate projects and moved to LTS Architects in 2014. Today he particularly enjoys the opportunity to work with owner-operator clients, as this dialogue can shape a space. He also teaches on a technical module at the Bartlett at UCL, which helps keep him on his toes, stay in touch with moving trends, and interact with young talent in the field.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn

LTS Architects’ website

 

Christopher Crawford: using design to bring a building to life for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

Show notes

Chris, Associate and Regional Media Industry Expert at Gensler joined Dan for this episode of the podcast. In particular, we talked about his work on the large-scale redesign of part of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust building. He shares how he used design to bring life to the building, resulting in a space which truly celebrates Stephen’s legacy and which has transformed the organisation. We also discuss Gensler’s ability to work on a huge range of projects in terms of scale, from a small family-run production studio, to larger projects, and what you can learn from each. As a specialist in the media industry, Chris keeps abreast of trends in that sector, and tells us how organisations are competing to attract their workforce by providing compelling workplaces.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Working on the large-scale pro bono task of redesigning part of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust building

  • Celebrating and using the existing features and resources of a building

  • Using colour, greenery, and daylight to provide a sense of connectivity, life, positivity, and vibrancy

  • How media companies are attracting their workforce with dynamic workplaces

  • Co-creating with media organisations

 

About Christopher

Chris is a designer, and has spent over six years at Gensler. Today he is Senior Associate Regional Media Workplace Industry Expert, and his excellence has been recognised through a number of awards, such as Gensler’s Europe Rising Star, and Mix Interiors Magazine’s Top 35 under 35.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

Gensler’s website

 

Oliver Kampshoff

Xavier De Kestelier

Katrina Larkin

Jenny Jones

Neil Usher

Introduction to Spacecraft