DiscoverSpacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast
Spacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast
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Spacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast

Author: Daniel Moscrop

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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 Design 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 you'll see.
32 Episodes
Beth and Sally met at Sketch before both setting up their respective businesses just before lockdown. As they navigated their new ventures and caught up with their network."We kept hearing the same message, there was a loss of confidence in meeting face to face which felt like it was stalling the market. We were both missing the opportunities created by bumping into people — the organic connections we all make and leads we pick up.We kept saying to each other, "the industry really needs a virtual p[platform to get people reconnected, but then we realised that no one else was going to do it."
Caroline Pontifex is director of workplace experience at KKS Savilles and leads their occupier and workplace strategy team. Advising occupiers using workplace as a vehicle for change, and developers ensuring real estate solutions are able to respond to change, her work analysing emerging occupier and workplace trends, and developing standards and space planning principles has lead to the studio winning prestigious awards.
Due to the current situation with Covid I wanted to touch base with podcast favourites Giuseppe Boscherini & Nikita Mikhailov who are joined by Olga Vysotska ( Treasurer, Board Member, Maternal Mental Health Alliance; Chief Listening Officer, PsyPub) to talk about how Covid is affecting us as we work from home over a prolonged period.Giuseppe is a designer and architect who is constantly thinking around problems, and as part of his response to Covid, home working and creating something for people to feel safe within open-plan offices, he's created something called BoxOffice.As ever there's a wealth of great information here within the conversation.
We catch up with Neil Usher, Chief Workplace & Change Strategist, GoSpace AI, on the back of his talk at Workplace Trends which you can find here Neil is an avid blogger and author of two books, The Elemental Workplace, and now Elemental Change. We interviewed Neil just over two years ago and it's still one of the most listened to episodes (well worth a listen if you haven't already). From his wealth of client-side management and leadership experience from around the world in a variety of industries. He is a sought-after conference and academic speaker, always bringing a fresh perspective while challenging assumptions and myths.Neil's new book is around change, which can be applied to workplace or organisations, but more about how we need to be the masters of change, we can't sit back and let change happen to us or expect others to do it for us. The timing of the book is impeccable in the current climate. Enjoy. 
Our interview with Rachel Basha, Founder and Design Director and Nicola Osborn, Creative Director of Basha—Franklin. As an Interior Design business they have human-centric design at the core of their work, we caught up with them after their Future Forward webinar which you can catch here.Rachel started Basha Franklin only a couple of years after arriving in the UK, and as an agency, they're going from strength to strength with an enviable client list. Nikki joined as Creative Director in September 2019 and is already applying her creative force of nature to the business and its culture.As said on their website "The workplace is a fast-evolving landscape, and your business requires a stimulating, agile space that supports change. We design intelligent solutions that respond to your specific office culture and nurture your valued people. Everyone deserves an inspiring, engaging, healthy place to work. We want to partner with businesses who feel the same." 
Kay Sargent is a Senior Principal and Director of Workplace at HOK. With 35 years of experience, She is a recognized expert on workplace design and strategy issues. She is an award-winning designer who has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to optimize their global real estate portfolios and create innovative work environments. As director of HOK’s WorkPlace team, a practice that supports organizations undertaking multiple projects in various locations, and a member of HOK’s Board of Directors, Kay is responsible for helping clients redefine how, when and where their people work, working in tandem to support a holistic design approach that integrates an organization’s people, processes and technology.Kay is considered an industry thought leaders on workplace. She has authored multiple white papers and articles on a variety of design related topics including wellbeing; next gen workforce; technologies impact on the workplace; space fusion and the rise of the human factor.We love her call to arms at the end of the interview, something we can't take too lightly in the current climate."Everybody is saying 'what is the future of work?'. We have the world’s attention if all we do is address the things that are immediately at hand, and we ignore the things that weren’t working before, and we ignore the things that are on the horizon. This absolutely will be our Kodak moment, and our industry will be in a world of hurt. But we have the options and the ability to see that to embrace the change and to make some fundamental pivotal shifts in the way we work in the way we deliver space and the way we think about it, that we may not have again, for a long time."So I implore everybody to think big to think beyond just the immediate crisis at hand, don’t be reactive, but really, truly address all of those things that we need to be to move us forward as an industry." 
We’re pleased to announce the return of Spacecraft with Series 3 of the podcast, we had a little pause with everything currently happening while we established what the future holds with workplace.  We did have a couple of great recordings in the bag which I feel are still relevant and really interesting. The first of these is Shane Kelly a Principal at TP Bennett.  Shane has been with TP Bennett for over 16 years now and remarks at how much change he’s seen across the business and workplace design as a whole. Shane makes some interesting observations on how businesses who worked remote realised the importance of place and interaction — which is something we’re all feeling right now.
With International Women's Day this weekend, who better to talk to than Nicola Rutt of HawkinsBrown. At the time on writing Nicola was recently shortlisted for the W Award (formerly Women in Architecture Award) and for the MJ Long Prize for her and her team’s incredible work on Here East.With a passion for the creative re-use of buildings, Nicola specialises in bringing underused, unloved properties back to life with a focus on designing spaces that bring people together and foster innovation.In this episode, we talk about the pros and cons of refurbishing existing industrial structures, rather than starting from scratch, how to go about working on such large-scale projects, how to inject identity into a building which lacks one, and how to create an environment which will hopefully end up being ‘cool’ – without trying to force it.See the show notes or head to for all episodes
Rosie Haslem from Spacelab joins us for this episode to discuss their unique approach to design. We learn how they use virtual reality to engage their clients, checking in with them throughout the process, and changing as necessary. We hear how their work redesigning the workplace of British fashion brand Boden led to 50% fewer emails and a ‘life-changing’ result. And we gain insight into their current work creating sensors to match occupancy with energy use, and empower users to manage their spaces effectively for years to come.See the show notes or head to for all episodes
It turns out you get personality-based workspace design. In this episode, we discuss how personality can be used to design spaces. We’ve known for some time that personality affects a great deal of things, including how we perceive our environments. But this thinking, and research from the fields of psychology and medicine, hasn’t often been fully applied to the workplace. Architect Giuseppe and Psychologist Nikita do just that. They enjoy helping companies create workspaces which allow their team to do their best work, with the least amount of effort.See the show notes
Duncan Gunn of GUNN Associates joined us for this episode of the podcast. Here at Them Design, we’ve known and worked with Duncan for around three years now. We’ve helped him brand and launch GUNN Associates, and watching their growth and success over the last couple of years has been really rewarding. In this episode, he shares several of the projects they’ve been working on, from university spaces, to a company headquarters. We learn about Duncan’s customer first, problem-solving approach, where clients often come away with something they didn't expect but was better than they thought they could achieve. We also discuss Sticky Campus thinking, what it is, where it comes from, and how it can be applied to workplace design.See the show notes
I've seen Catherine speak at a number of events and I'm always captivated by her creativity, her passion and her outlook on life. Her work has evolved from an artist, into founding and leading award-winning placemaking agency ProduceUK. As expected, she nailed the podcast with some great insights, including how she first became interested in placemaking, what it means to her, and some predictions for the future of the industry.
Jane Clay joins the Spacecraft podcast as we kick off our partnership with Women in Office Design, a networking group for women across the office design and furniture industry. As well as discussing the importance of this group, we talk to Jane about her career, and of course, all things workspace. We chat about the big changes in workplace design, and projects such as Government Digital Service, Microsoft’s London and Dublin offices, and British Land’s flexible Storey workspaces. See the show notes.
Leading workplace designer Deepak Parmar from MCM joined us for this Spacecraft episode. We discussed what workplace design can learn from retail in terms of experience-led design, and how the co-working trend has influenced expectations when it comes to workplaces. Deepak shares insights from some of the projects he’s worked on, including Condé Nast Digital Hub in a Grade II listed building in central London, and a new project for Nationwide where the aim is to excel in terms of inclusivity and accessibility. See the show notes
In this episode, we talk to Richard Russell of Innerspace Cheshire, a company providing sustainable materials for commercial interiors. Richard is well known for his knowledge and passion for all things moss. We learn about different moss varieties and preserving techniques and talk about the meaning and importance of biophilia in today’s workplaces. Sustainability is key to Richard’s work and he talks about the ways in which he strives to ensure his business is the most sustainable it can be. Richard also shares some of his favourite projects, and talks about his pioneering work producing preserved plant walls.See the show notes
Did you miss Workplace Trends? Don't worry we've got a pocket version... In this Workplace Trends special we attended the London event on October 15th 2019 event and grabbed as many speakers as we could. In this episode, among others, we speak to:Killian Keller from Electrolux on The Corporate Tribe and Rehumanizing the Workplace and Surviving the Digital TransitionMarie Puybaraud on Workplace — Powered by Human Experience; Nerys Mutlow, Head of Future Workplace Services at Fujitsu on Successful business transformation strategies and employee engagement.Catherine Bonnett of CBWorkPlaces, on the Olympic House: user experienceEd Suttie of Bre and Oliver Heath on The Biophilic Office — Putting People FirstNeil Rebeugeot and Rebecca Goldberg from ARUP on Managing Change and the importance of core values in property and businessMadeleine Evans of Levell on Mental Health and Productivity in work cultureRachel Edwards from Lendlease on Designing out Loneliness in the Workplace.Nigel Oseland of Workplace Unlimited summing up.(See the chapter markers to skip to each speaker)It's still amazing me how many of the talks were about how we need to think more about people... who or what are we designing our workplaces for currently?Enjoy.If you'd like some further reading check out Neil Usher's blog 
In this episode, we're talking to Simone Fenton-Jarvis of Ricoh. Simone is a workplace thought-leader with 13 years’ experience working within property management, facilities management, and workplace. With an MBA in Facilities Management and her operational and managerial experience, she has extensive knowledge of the elements required to create workplaces that enable people to achieve their potential.We discuss a range of topics about workplace culture, from the importance of understanding people and how the work, to introducing dogs to the office, and the potential offered by the Internet of Things. See the show notes
Simon Borg, Creative Director of Populous Activate discusses key projects such as the London O2, and the Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium. From ensuring wayfinding and architecture work together, to incorporating brand into the very essence of a building, Simon shares some fascinating insights into lessons he's learnt, and what he thinks will be the key challenges in the future.
Mijail Gutierrez, Associate Principle at Perkins and Will. shares his sources of inspiration, and insights into his work on interesting projects such as The Economist's new London office. Learn how his curiosity and desire to have a positive impact on people's lives has resulted in some remarkable work.
A legend in the workspace sector, Nigel Oseland discussed some of his work of the past, present, and future. With a research background, he takes an evidence-based approach to his design and change management consulting work. In this episode, we discuss topical issues such as loneliness, wellbeing, open plan offices, co-working, agile working, and biophilia.See the show notes.
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