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Creating a more empowered workforce for the future. Highlights from Worktech 2022 by Kasim Ali-Khan

Creating a more empowered workforce for the future. Highlights from Worktech 2022 by Kasim Ali-Khan

Making life easy and providing digital equality is a massive incentive to draw staff back to the workplace.

Last week I attended the Worktech 2022 in Sydney; here are my key takeaways around the future of ‘work and the workplace’, ‘culture’ and the ‘great resignation’.

Philip Ross, the keynote and chairperson, kicked off the conference with a perspective on the state of the world and the opportunity for Change post Covid-19.

Phillip noted Lyft, a US based ride share company, have divested from their real estate portfolio and have announced employees can work from anywhere and presumably anytime! Covid has shown that as we emerge from 2 years of uncertainty 90% of office staff have now been offered flexible Work from Home (WFH) conditions. Further, Rhona Duncanson – KPMG advised that their attendance was roughly 1 day a week from the office where many others are looking at 2,3,4 or 5 days. Workplaces define their culture largely through people and if you remove the hub or physical presence the culture erodes and leaves the space for the great resignation. There has been research defining the reason for the great resignation as being better working conditions and pay but reading between the data and taking a holistic perspective, my view is that these are elements of the culture.

In the data enabled age we live in, we are both wary of intrusion and needy of the concierge type apps to navigate the drudge / chores away from the core functions of work and socialisation. Large companies globally are recognising this and providing these services to their staff. Ken Lynch from ANZ was positively excited to hear the buzz from people returning to the campus in Melbourne and extolling the virtues of an App developed to help the staff with finding a desk, ordering coffee and lunch with services such as dry cleaning all within the campus. Making life easy and providing digital equality is a massive incentive to draw staff back to the workplace. Plenty of international examples of buildings and HQ’s for offices that offer these services, such as Google, Lego and the new 6 star digitally enabled 22 Bishopsgate were provided. Another concept being delivered in North America was the option for working in a suburban hub for 20/40% of time so that your balance was 2 days in the office, 2 days in a hub and a day from home. We certainly have these on the Sydney fringe in several suburbs including Gosford, Parramatta and Manly

To continue on the theme of choice for the workers and creating better working spaces we had a very polished virtual presentation from Dr Christine Bruckner from Moser on designing for the environment embracing the natural topographical elements of water, light and air into the physical space, creating both a nature-based approach and a people centric environment. Natalie Slessor, from Lendlease, and her panel debated a more collaborative way we can develop the new economy through innovation and taking great ideas to get funding though NSW Government (Helen Palmer) and universities like Macquarie (Paul Hogan) and through the large corporates like Lend Lease’s Connect in Melbourne (Simone Laity) and to develop these ideas at Hyper speed to market for the benefit of companies and employees. 

Caroline Boyce from Lend Lease, had earlier pointed out a power shift from the employer to the employee in reference to “Innovation districts” developed by Lend lease and this was also highlighted by Paul Edwards from Mirvac discussing the human centred design. Varum Malkani – Smarten Spaces, also proposed a “structured approach to Hybrid working”. We even had the notion that leases will be negotiated with a more collaborative approach rather than in an adversarial way to enable the tenant to help develop a space appropriate to their business and culture.  

In summary, culture is “caught not taught” (panel discussion) and creating the optimum experiential workplace from a design of the physical space and ramping up the tech to support the more empowered workforce, is the key to staff retention. Secondly, workplace is still important in its new form to provide the meeting place to allow ideas and culture to breed. Thirdly, we need EQ, creativity, originality and the development of our emotional skills as a core part of improving our overall wellbeing. Finally, the pace of change has never been faster and potentially better for us all if we can embrace change and respect the planet.

We also witnessed 3D avatars being demonstrated by Philip allowing his presence to be 3 dimensional in a remote meeting rather than through zoom or teams. We still need the real Philip (and of course me hopefully for the next 10 years at least), but this is where we are all heading. 

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    TCW Continues to support schools in the Solomon Islands

    Creating Beautiful Spaces that Create Beautiful Minds.

    TCW Continue to support Schools in the Soloman Islands

     

    ‘We look forward to these kind donations that are continuing to assist our less fortunate schools in the country”. Rubina Samuel, Principal Property Officer, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development

     

     

    There was a total of 405 desks, 426 chairs and 24 boxes of stationary distributed to the 16 schools. The furniture was reallocated from TCW’s continuing work with Roseville College in Sydney and also reinforces our priority of keeping products in use rather than going to landfill.

    Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, TCW have successfully donated another container of furniture for schools in remote locations in the Solomon Islands including Temotu, Ongton Java, Renbel and Guadalcanal & Malaita inlands. This container, the 4th received from Australia, has supported 16 schools with essential desks and chairs for the children and teachers. TCW’s work with Pacific Assist, a not-for-profit charity serving the nations of the South Pacific, has contributed to their mission of strengthening the educational capacity of disadvantaged communities by providing learning resources, such as books and furniture.

    In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) in the Solomon Islands was given the opportunity to receive donated chairs and desks from schools in Australia as part of the churches mission, most notably in remote provinces like Renbel, Temotu and Choiseul.

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      Re-Connection

      The team at TCW were thrilled to host our A + D guests at the “Re-connection” event, which was organised in collaboration with the 69 O’Riordan St Collective

      After many months of isolation, we remain grateful and supportive of the community we have in this industry. It was wonderful to see everyone, and we can’t wait to see everyone again soon!

      Over 2 days in the showroom, we invited our brand partners to be on hand to demonstrate and showcase new workplace initiatives whilst providing Paella and drinks. The finale of the 2 days was a lively debate involving industry leaders on “The impact of COVID19 on the workplace will be forgotten within the year” followed by tapas and cocktails.

      CMS Electracom launched Engage, a smart workplace solution harnessing intelligent hardware and powerful software.  Seamlessly digitalising the interaction between employees and the workplace, while empowering property and facility managers to monitor space utilisation and energy consumption to provide insightful analytics on how their workplace is being utilised.

      Actiu showcased the new Karbon Chair, and introduced Gaia, which focuses their IoT platform to obtain usage data and building dynamics to inform and optimise the balance between people, the physical workplace and environmental conditions.

      For the event TCW’s Kasim Ali-Khan commented that, “Hosting was remarkable given that we managed to plan an event and dodge the covid clouds of closure and entertain a compliant safe event. The debate was glorious in its content and the rapport between 2 sparring teams of industry professionals with their perspective on the past 18 months and the next 12 months, both entertained and educated. Thanks to the panellists Max Thomson, of Spitfire Control, for chairing and the ‘For’ team consisting of Susie Bryden from Cushman Wakefield and Con Hart from FDC with the ‘against’ team, Jessica Margiotta from Group GSA and Gerry Heaton from Gerry Heaton Consulting for their massive contribution and to all those who braved the rain clouds. I believe we left all refreshed, fed, and motivated for the next 12 months when hopefully we have designed for the modern workplace of 2022 and moved past some of the outdated legacies of our past.”



      Bakers Delight

      BAKERS DELIGHT

      Architect/Interior Designer: JMC Design

      Builder: Client Based Solutions

      The refurbished Head Office for Bakers Delight in Camberwell, Melbourne was accomplished during the difficult COVID lockdown and completed successfully with strict adherence to Victorian Government guidelines. 

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            Below please be sure to be the most specific regarding a product or job quote, including options such as fabrics, arms and other finishes.

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            TCW worked with Client Based Solutions, JMC Design and Tornado to supply and install 163 Markant MOX Workstations with pedestals; 29 Thinking Works I AM Tables and Luxmy Talki High Benches. TCW also supplied 10  Noom 30 reception Chairs by Actiu, 78 Tambour Doors Storage Cabinets, 11 Laminate Credenzas and 147 C-Me Monitor Arms.

             

            Bakers Delight were celebrating 40 years in business and wanted to create a warm and inviting space to reflect the culture of Baker’s Delight and to ensure all staff felt like they are part of a family environment. The site is in the same site as when they started all those years ago that included open and collaborative zones with finishes that included soft timber hues, hints of gold, calming sage and an abundance of biophilia to create a tranquil space that also pays homage to bakeries of old.





            Products used in this project:

            MOX workstations, pedestals, I Am tables, Talki high benches, Noom 30 chairs, Tambour Door storage cabinets, laminate credenzas and C-Me monitor arms

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            Hudson

            HUDSON

            Architect/Interior Designer: IA Group

            Builder: Client Based Solutions

            The new workspace for Hudson in Brisbane was designed to capture their desired Scandinavian aesthetic and flexible workplace practices. The direction was to create an open and inviting space that blurred the lines between front and back of house spaces. The Buttercup Lounge by Luxmy provides a welcoming seating area with its subtle angles that delicately contrast its robust form. The ensemble is complimented perfectly by the Noom 10 armchair by ACTIU. Informal meeting areas were created with Pablo Chairs coupled with the distinctive Cheese on Toast table, both by Luxmy. In the kitchen area, Noom stools provide seating for gathering and collaboration.

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                  A key feature of the design brief was to ensure adequate privacy for the interview & meeting rooms whilst creating a natural circulation flow throughout the space. It was imperative that the enclosed spaces had a high acoustic value to limit any noise transfer into the open plan zone.

                  Larger conference style accommodation was created with the Azile folding table Vega Chairs with multifunctional and practical Moving Wall panels providing privacy screening and surfaces for presentations

                  Inspiration for the palette and finishes were derived from Queensland’s coastal beauty and natural landscapes. Soft timber tones, textured finishes such as wall paneling and stone effect paint created a light and airy feel within the space.

                  The designers, IA, worked closely with TCW to develop a custom clover workstation which was to be height adjustable and promote agile working styles. At TCW we understand that customised solutions are a part of achieving optimal results for our clients and provided the solution to customise one product to achieve four different applications.

                  The Snowflake shape workstations required customization as the fixed height and sit to stand desk needed to be applied to desking for 4 people in Snowflake shape and a cluster of 4-person seating positions with individual user height adjustment (sit to stand). Lockers and handheld storage boxes were provided to each staff member encouraging a clean desk policy.

                  One of the key features within the space was a screen that created an intimate feel in the reception area whilst providing a functional separation from the workspace. It was important to create visual transparency into the open workspace whilst maintaining a level of privacy for staff. Being eco-conscious a mesh screen was incorporated that is fully recyclable reducing its environmental footprint.

                  Hudson’s new space reflects the company’s ethos of creating a fulfilling workplace that support positive outcomes for their staff. The workplace design brings people together to collaborate, socialise and achieve great outcomes for each other, their clients and industry partners.

                   





                  PRODUCTS USED IN THIS PROJECT:
                  Buttercup Lounge Setting; Noom Chairs and Stools; Vega Chairs; Lordo Flex Chairs; Pablo Chair; Mo Table; Talki Table; Azile Folding Tables; Cheese on Toast Tables; Laptop Tables; Talki Tables Elevar Special Snowflake Tables; EON Sit to Stand and Fixed Height Workstations; Moving Walls and Moving Panels; Lockers and Hot Boxes

                  TCW supports school children in The Solomon Island’s

                  TCW supports school children in the solomon island’s

                  TCW has been working with a group called Pacific Assist, who are a New Zealand based charity with an Australian arm, not-for-profit charity serving the nations of the South Pacific. Their mission is to strengthen the educational capacity of disadvantaged communities by providing learning resources, such as books and furniture.

                  In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) in the Solomon Islands was given the opportunity to receive donated chairs and desks from schools in Australia as part of the churches mission, most notably in remote provinces like Renbel, Temotu and Choiseul.

                   “there has been a shared feel of happiness from these schools”

                  Alongside the new works completed at Roseville College in Sydney, TCW has been able to assist in the work of Pacific Assist by donating a 40-foot container filled with school furniture, including 400 student tables and 400 student chairs from the school, as well as facilitating shipping and distribution. It is important to TCW to express that importance of furniture in education spaces, and the team is proud to be able to assist those in need in disadvantaged communities.

                   

                  The total inventory of the last container TCW shipped to the Solomon Islands was:

                  • 370 desks
                  • 37 double school desks
                  • 379 school chairs
                  • 57 school stools
                  • 26 boxes of school reading books

                   

                  MEHRD has commented by saying “there has been a shared feel of happiness from these schools when receiving this furniture and we are grateful for all that is donated to us and the impact it will have in our schools as students use the furniture this year.”



                  Ion-Cloud – Inspired

                  ION-CLOUD
                  Inspired by Nature

                  THE VITAMINS OF THE AIR

                  We have been concerned with the indoor climate from the very first human space generation. When further developing our room-in-room systems, we have drawn inspiration from nature, where negative ions are responsible for the purity of the air and well-being. This is why people flock to the sea, mountains, waterfalls or the countryside. With the ION-Cloud technology, we are transporting this vitality into our cubes. Whether during productive work or a creative break – replenish your energy levels with every breath.

                   

                  THE POWER OF NEGATIVE IONS

                  The pure air that ION-Cloud generates has a directly positive effect on your mental and physical well-being. The negative ions adhere to positively charged, harmful particles in the air, thus inactivating viruses, neutralising bacteria and rendering pollen, fungal spores, smoke particles and fine dust harmless.

                  SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN

                  In order to ensure maximum added value and safety for our customers and their subsequent users, Bosse has had its new development ION-Cloud undergo scientific studies with regard to its effect on bacteria and viruses (influenza, coronavirus, Staphylococcus aureus).

                  Aristocrat Technologies

                  ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES

                  Design Firm: Alkimi Studio

                  Fitout Contractor: MPA Projects

                   

                  Situated in the heart of Macquarie Park, Aristocrat Technologies undertook a fully occupied refurbishment of their full building, seven storey national headquarters. In collaboration with Luxmy, TCW was brought in by Alkimi to supply a range of custom loose furniture items for this new Office.

                   

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                        Alkimi’s design for the space led them down a biophilic route with Aristocrat wanting a natural connection to be felt. This ideology guided them in designing healthy and light filled spaces. The inspiration for the colour palette utilised throughout was an echo of the Aristocrat branding, where bold colours take on both a sophisticated and playful role as the spaces unfold from formal meeting rooms and tranquil wellness spaces to a lively café and congregation spaces.

                        With the biophilic ideology in mind Luxmy and TCW were engaged to design several bespoke loose furniture pieces for the new space and worked closely with Alkimi to achieve this.

                        Along the corridors and egress where people pass through Garden Bench was paired with Rosebud Ottomans. Combining the two informal furniture pieces allowed for social interactions and quick touch down meetings to be had.



                        With an open office design being established, there was a need to introduce places where workers can retreat to, to have semi-private meetings or get away from the hustle and bustle of the office. The Hedgeline screening system was used as a way of wrapping small furniture clusters to create sanctuaries.

                        The statement furniture piece for the offices are the custom designed Hollyhock lounges; a high back round lounging system, designed in such a way that it allowed for a planter and tree to emerge from the centre and epitomise the culmination of biophilia and colour that was requested by the client.

                        Other items used throughout the project included the Iconic Conical tables manufactured in Wilson Traceless Black which ensures no finger prints are left behind and the sleek Topiary lounge supplied in a range of autumnal tones.

                        Back to Work

                        BACK TO WORK

                        TCW can help you space plan your office post Covid-19

                        Over the last few weeks many established designers and consulting firms globally have written more than they ever have about the “new normal” and what this will look like. There is certainly a great opportunity to use the current pandemic as a catalyst for change and hopefully for the better in new developments and fit outs.

                        This is a bit beyond our pay grade in terms of the body of research available to TCW. Our focus has been to support change within the current workspace and to help organisations manage the BTW (Back to Work) by understanding their ratios of staff returning at a given time and clearly labelling plans with instructions to the users with distances, pathways and seat allocation. We have the ability to overlay any DWG plans with a layer of clear symbols to manage until a more permanent change is designed and implemented.

                        TCW can help you plan and ease your way back to the workplace as we have done for many of our clients already. As a sounding board on who is doing what, or in more detail working out how many people you can get in your working areas and your meeting areas and what that would look like to assist you to make a decision. An example of the work we have been doing is below. Our brief in this case was to place a layer of the workplace with a 50-50 ratio and what that would look like in space metrics. How many people can you have in a meeting room of 15m2? How many people in your break out areas and personalised sanitizers for public spaces and individuals?

                        TCW can provide the physical barriers to provide a level of comfort for those concerned about possible contamination in the workplace. We can also provide ergonomic advice to staff working from home with chairs, monitor arms and desks. What obligation does the organisation have towards its staff working from home and how may the tax man help you on that spend. You can’t claim chocolate biscuits working from home, but you can claim an office chair or monitor arm.

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                          Back To The Fu(rni)ture

                          Back To The Fu(rni)ture: 


                          What Does Your Workspace
                          Look Like After
                          Covid-19?

                          Life has always been about change. But this time, we’re being expected to change our normal behaviours at exponential speed. Moore’s Law famously said that the speed of computing will double every 18 months, although the way we used those computers didn’t shift as fast as that.

                          But now, in the space of weeks, we have moved from normal working and living conditions to dramatic changes, where our daily interactions have moved from face-to-face to a completely remote basis.  Every day now, I am catching up and communicating with friends, family and work colleagues via a screen.

                          My office colleagues are having dance classes and yoga online. My daughter is having online football coaching and my dogs have lost 15% of their weight with all the walking they are being forced to do. I’m not sure if I have also lost weight, but perhaps on zoom it’s not so obvious either way!

                          In Australia, the curve of infection that we have flattened through our enforced social distancing now looks to be heading in the right direction, back towards a more normal, safer world.  However, that “normal” world is not the same as the one we left just a few weeks ago.

                          According to the Centre for Future Working (see link), 15% of the current workforce have the ability to work permanently from home, and they expect this to rise to 30%. Meanwhile, almost all of us have had the experience of working from home, and now understand the good and bad of it. For many people, once the anxiety and social isolation from the pandemic dissipates, it looks like working from home will be their preferred option in future.

                          The impact of this on workspaces in future will be significant, possibly transformational.

                          First the HOME OFFICE: Employers are just starting to think through the full implications of their staff working extensively from home. Will employment contracts in future come with an expectation of an allowance to kit out employee’s homes with the appropriate furniture, computers, printers and other office-like services – maybe even a coffee machine? Perhaps staff will consider that a better work -life balance will “pay” them for this privilege. Either way, how will the taxman view such permanent arrangements? Will they remove the tax and CGT disadvantages, and will all workers be treated equally – for example, will these benefits be means-tested?

                          Secondly – the OFFICE WORKPLACE: With social distancing, are we going to reverse the diminishing ratio of office space per person, with the current allowance of less than 10m2 per person being increased by 20-50%, to 12 or even 15m2 per person? Or are we going to assume that we will have an A and B shift at work, and need half the current desk space in future? Do they share desks, and do you then need a deep clean every weekend?

                          With proximity comes the need for protection. Maintaining 1.5m of “social” (work?) distance within our work environment will not be easy, where the trend has increasingly been to improve staff interaction, not limit it.  Do we mark ingress and egress channels on the carpets for staff, to ensure they keep their distance as they walk around? And how many people will be allowed in a lift at any given time? One suggestions has been that we ask them all to turn to the walls to minimise breathing each other’s air, although I think that this “naughty corner” approach may be too uncomfortable to work in practice for long.

                          Perhaps workstations will need “sneeze screens” to protect everyone from their colleague next door. If so, then the vast majority of workstations that have screens at less than 1200mm high will need a new larger screen, to protect the potential spray from an errant Covid virus. All of these office arrangements will need additional cleaning. 

                          The good news is that safer personal space (and increased employee privacy) in the office can be provided by the increasing range of in-office booths. Whilst the air that you breath sitting in one of these booths is the air from outside, the air filters and solid sound-limiting materials of the booths can offer protection as well as privacy, combined with a regular sensible cleaning regime.  

                          Reception areas, for health clinics in particular but also anywhere the public congregate, including cafes, lobbies (and whilst we are at it, trains and planes), need some re-thinking. Right now we are seeing requests only for polypropylene chairs that can be easily wiped or hosed down by the ubiquitous cleaning gangs.

                          From what we’ve seen so far, TCW can help provide what’s needed on the furniture side for the post-virus office (and home office) – including “sneeze” screens, polypropylene chairs and in-office booths. It is a fast-evolving space, and there are some bigger issues that need addressing as I’ve touched on above. I would be happy to hear any and all your views on this, as we all try to make sense of the new world of working, so please drop me a line and I will report back over the coming weeks as things develop. In the meantime please find some useful links.

                           

                          WRITTEN BY: Kasim Ali-Khan – Director TCW

                          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/will-coronavirus-end-the-open-office-floor-plan/

                          https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/30/business/lessons-from-china-business-coronavirus-intl-hnk/index.html

                          https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/COVID-19-Workplace-Checklist.pdf

                          https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/Working_from_home_Workstation_Setup_%20Guide-COVID-19.pdf

                          https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/COVID-19-Physical-Distancing-Checklist.pdf

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                            Working from Home Tips

                            08.04.2020

                            Working from Home Tips

                            What does it mean to work from home safely?

                            In a well set up workplace you will have monitor arms, ergonomic task chairs, regular meetings and reasons to move about and most importantly, routine. In order for us to not just get through this COVID-19 pandemic but also thrive working from home, TCW has a few tips to share.

                            SETTING UP

                            Where do you work? From the sofa, dining table or a study desk? Wherever it is, maintaining an ergonomic set up as much as possible is beneficial to your productivity. TCW has created a list of ergonomic furniture pieces that will help you work from home safely and as happily as possible.

                            Task Chairs
                            Choose a chair that supports your spinal curve, this should be a chair that has a number of different adjustments like our To-Sync Task Chair.

                            • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the ground and your thighs are parallel to the floor. A chair with a gas lift and adjustable seat will assist with this.
                            • Adjust arm rests so that your arms gently rest on them and your shoulders are relaxed.  Arm rests will also assist you in getting out of your chair.
                            • Make sure that your back is completely flush with the rear of the seat and that your chair allows for flexible movement. An adjustable lumbar support and a synchronised mechanism will help with this.

                            Monitor Arms
                            If a person can adjust the height, distance and angle of their monitor it means they can adjust their technology to their own unique requirements. Using an adjustable monitor arm like our Flo Monitor Arm will reduce the occurrence of eye, neck and back strain. 

                            • Using the monitor arm, place the monitor directly in front of you at approx an arms length.  The top of the screen should be at a slightly below eye level angle.
                            • Throughout the day as your eye sight deteriorates, bring the monitor arm slightly closer to you.
                            • Both points require a dynamic monitor arm to make these easy adjustments.

                            Workstations
                            Everyone has an individual working style, environment and requirements, your workstation is no exception. The design of workstations has progressed with human centric principles in mind, gone are the clinical silver frames of the past. At TCW we have the ability to order customise workstation tops allowing you to fit a work space around that trick corner or exposed beam and create a space that is all yours. All of our products are sold based on their brands quality and dedication towards functional solutions for our clients.

                            “Find your routine, then stick to it!”

                            Routine

                            Having a routine is a surefire way to maintain a productive and healthy working day. Make sure that you try and stick to as normal a schedule as possible when working from home. Here are a few of our favourite tips:

                            • Wake up on time! Even if your work hours have changed try and get up, have a stretch and get a good start on the day.
                            • Change into work clothes – this is very important for a positive mindset. Don’t forget that more and more virtual meetings are taking place. You can even experiment with outfits you have always wanted to trial!
                            • A good breakfast. Speaks for itself.
                            • Movement – take breaks during the day to stretch and alternate environments. Go for a walk around the block at lunch, take tea and water breaks.
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                              Northern Beaches Hospital

                              Northern Beaches Hospital

                              Architect/Interior Design: BVN Architecture
                              Builder: CPB Contractors Pty Ltd

                              The Northern Beaches Hospital is a Level 5 facility providing a range of services. The primary objectives of the hospital development were to deliver the best quality integrated health services and clinical outcomes to the community of the Northern Beaches of Sydney, where public and private health care are integrated into a single facility.

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                                    TCW were engaged to supply furniture solutions to different parts of the hospital. A variety of products manufactured by Actiu provide both front of house aesthetic elegance as well as purposeful and practical solutions to meet the needs of a high functioning hospital. To make a statement in the atrium foyer of Northern Beaches Hospital, the iconic Badminton chair, with its design inspired by the shuttlecock used in the sport of the same name, is combined with the Eeni chair by Lux Studio to provide a comfortable and relaxing oasis away from the from the hustle and bustle of the hospital environment.

                                    Avant modular bench seating, upholstered in solid in polyurethane for easy cleaning, is installed in the foyer of the Medical Centre, among other locations. This product is a perfect fit with its smooth lines and clean aesthetics and provided a comfortable waiting and rest area to the users in these designated areas.

                                    Wing Chairs are installed throughout the hospital, both in the wards as visitor chairs as well as meeting and breakout chairs for the staff. Its polypropylene composition make it an ideal choice for a health care facility due to its antimicrobial properties: easy to clean, stackable and with an extensive colour range.

                                    The Northern Beaches Hospital image is one of care and commitment, safety and excellence. It provides an important civic anchor to Frenchs Forest, and to the whole of the Northern Beaches.


                                    Products used in this project

                                    YELLOW Volume 4

                                    14.02.2020

                                    Yellow Volume 4

                                     

                                    We are excited to announce that the 4th edition of our in-house magazine YELLOW is available online now or come and see us in our showroom to collect your own copy! This issue we investigate: “Wellbeing in the Workplace – How do we achieve it?”

                                    View this issue NOW – YELLOW V4


                                     

                                    “Designing so that employees have more access to natural sunlight and outdoor areas can also make for happier, more engaged employees”

                                     


                                    In this issue, we feature an inspiring Q & A by Teknion’s Director of Sustainable Programs, Tracy Backus with Paul Scialla, Founder of the International WELL Building Institute. The interview focuses on how interior designers and furniture manufacturers can create a healthier built environment.


                                    “BEAUTIFUL SPACES CREATE BEAUTIFUL MINDS”

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                                      Melbourne Food + Wine

                                      31.10.2019

                                      Melbourne Food + Wine Experiences

                                      On a spooky evening TCW decided to do something wholesome with our clients and hosted Melbourne Food + Wine Experiences in our Bourke St showroom. 

                                      This Farm to Table event introduced food crafted by the Social Food Project. Sustainability and supporting innovation is important to us at TCW whether it be what you eat or what you’re sitting on!

                                      The Social Food Project focuses on sustainable food events that are designed to connect local communities and bring people together. “Food is the great connector – in the sharing of food, barriers are broken down and we create opportunities to meet, learn from and empathise with others.”

                                      Special thanks went to our MC of the night Wendy Hargreaves for introducing the evening and sharing her insights of the Melbourne food scene. Wendy founded the Sunday Herald Sun’s first food section and Melbourne’s most independent food/fun magazine fiveofthebest.com.

                                      As well as regular slots on 3AW Radio National, The Project, A Current Affair and Today Tonight Wendy created short film ‘Burnt’ winning two awards at Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival. Thank you to everyone that came on the night to talk food, fun and a little bit of furniture!


                                      Capitol Theatre

                                      Capitol Theatre

                                      Design Firm: Six Degrees Architects
                                      Builder: Hutchison Builders

                                      Originally designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin in 1924, Melbourne’s Capitol Theatre has been reopened by RMIT University.

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                                            The historic cinema has been repurposed as an education facility for students studying film and digital media, and it will also be used as a public cultural venue.

                                            Six Degrees Architects and Hutchison Builders completed the multi-million dollar refurbishment, which involved the retention of the iconic geometric ceiling of the cinema and the restoration of the entrance, as well as providing learning spaces for more than 1,000 students, new office and incubation spaces.

                                            All the ceilings and critical heritage elements are overhead, and all the new work comes up underneath.

                                            TCW was delighted to participate in a short overview of the exceptional project with ArchiTel TV you can see below. 

                                            Products used in this project

                                            Connect East

                                            Connect East

                                            Design Firm: Spowers
                                            Fit out contractor: Capabuild

                                            ConnectEast Group is the owner and operator of EastLink, the largest tollway network in Victoria. The Stakeholders had aspirations re-invigorate their existing accommodation to support their staff into the future.

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                                                  TCW provided an ergonomic sit-to-stand workstation solution to replace their old fixed height snowflake style desks and increase the occupancy of the existing EastLink Operations Centre. EON Workstations were used to address acoustic concerns and re-invigorate the existing accommodation.

                                                  The sit-to-stand operation of the EON workstations will support the staff into the future and the colourful PET Screens helped address acoustic concerns and the animation of the space. Various EON workstation configurations were used including, individual workstations with plywood modesty panels for the offices and pentagon shaped workstation clusters with EFit chairs for the call centre area.


                                                  Products used in this project

                                                  RMIT GUSS

                                                  RMIT GUSS

                                                  Design Firm: Spowers
                                                  Fit out contractor: Capabuild

                                                  Located in the heart of Melbourne on RMIT’s City campus, the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) has been designed to reflect the identity of its occupants. It has created a strong grounding for its identity, seen from the inside and outside world. 

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                                                        Tatjana Plitt Photography

                                                         TCW supplied EON sit-to stand workstations, Domino Task chairs and mobile storage units for this project. The EON workstations incorporated natural woodgrain finishes and PET Acoustic panel for the workstation screens and personal privacy dividers. Over 300 EON workstations in various configurations were supplied to accommodate the school’s occupants over two levels.

                                                        Utilising an urban design context as a design narrative was key to unlocking the spatial challenges of a vast and deep floor plan presented to the design. The project involved crafting an authentic space employing natural materials honestly whilst providing spaces of equity and agility delivering a future flexibility.


                                                        Products used in this project

                                                        UTS Central

                                                        UTS Central

                                                        Design Firm: FJMT
                                                        Fit out contractor: Richard Crookes Construction

                                                        Located next to the UTS Tower and opposite Central Park on Broadway, UTS Central is a striking, 17-storey, glass-encased building that adds to the architectural diversity of the UTS campus. The building holds a 5 Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating certified by the Green Building Council of Australia.

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                                                              As well as a vibrant student hub, study areas and Our Faculty of Law space, it will also be home to the new UTS Library and scholarly Reading Room. TCW was proud to supply a range of our agile products that support the cutting-edge facility for education and research, supporting active and collaborative learning.

                                                              Read more here


                                                              • link again blue

                                                              • meeting

                                                              • link red

                                                              • central wall

                                                              • blue link

                                                              • tress

                                                              Products used in this project

                                                              Trades Union – Sydney Office

                                                              Trades Union – Sydney Office

                                                              Design Firm: Danks Design
                                                              Fit out contractor:CD Constructions

                                                              TCW was brought in by Danks Design to supply a range of furniture for this new Office, Training and Conference Facility for 62 staff in Pyrmont.

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                                                                    The breakout areas are bright warm, having been designed to maximise space for when you are not hard at work. TCW supplied Butterfly Tables and Chilli+ Lime Tables from Luxmy with Urban chairs for these areas.

                                                                    In the workspace area Markant MO-X and Scenarios, credenzas and storage were used to create focused back to back clusters. This included ergonomic support through the cable management systems. 

                                                                    Meeting rooms needed to be agile so that the same space can be utilised for a conference, meeting, group work or training area. Thinking Works I.Am folding tables are ideal here with a linking device and simple folding mechanism.  


                                                                    • lobby

                                                                    • office

                                                                    • ottomans

                                                                    • canteen

                                                                    • sofa bit

                                                                    Products used in this project

                                                                    Denfair 2019

                                                                    09.03.2019

                                                                    Success at Denfair

                                                                    Over the course of three days in Melbourne was taken over by the best in the industry as Denfair and the National Architecture Conference collided in the best of ways.
                                                                    As Denfair celebrated their 5th birthday for the first time the exhibition also housed a dedicated workspace sector. This new direction, LIFE WORK shone a light on designs that support the rapid integration of working and personal lives.

                                                                    TCW takes pride by not being pigeonholed into specifying for any one sector, in recent years our projects have spanned over public spaces, retail & hospitality, workplaces, education and healthcare. Having said this our team of experts has a pooled knowledge about furniture design specifically for the workplace. Current design trends, shifts in office culture and building/ property influences all contributed to what we decided to show at Denfair.

                                                                    Photography credit to Fiona Susanto

                                                                    Photography credit to Denfair Media

                                                                    Booths, pods, meeting rooms – call them what you will, we believe they are a fundamental element in current workplace designs. Creating an ecosystem of spaces that caters to a variety of tasks is essential in keeping employees satisfied and productive. How can we solve this with rental buildings, open plan spaces and technology ruling work? Flexibility.
                                                                    “Our focus was on innovation in the way we manage spaces, with a view to support the agile and activity based workplace. Telephone booths are about addressing the human need for privacy, for those quiet moments or focus work and are an integral need amongst the buzz created by dynamic working. TCW are exclusive agents for the Silen Space and the Smartblock as well as having one of Europe’s leading, more established brands Dauphin with their Bosse human space cubes.” – Kasim Ali-Khan Director
                                                                    At Denfair we were able to demonstrate the possibilities of creating spaces that are not just flexible but clever by catering to specific tasks. The LIFE WORK area was a great success for workplace furniture and shone a light on the intersection of technology and human centric design in the industry. TCW also collaborated with Markant and their Hybrid collection, which was installed at the Media Stand.

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                                                                      NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence

                                                                      NSW Rugby League Centre for Excellence

                                                                      Design Firm: Populous
                                                                      Fit out contractor: ADCO Construction 

                                                                      The new Rugby League Centre of Excellence located in Olympic Park is a space that unites the NSWRL, CRL, NSWRL Referees Association and other affiliates, and a home base for the NSW VB Blues and all state representative teams. The site contains playing fields, hydrotherapy and sports science facilities, change rooms, an event space and administrative offices.

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                                                                            ADCO preferred to go with a single supplier, to keep things as smooth and seamless as possible. TCW was specified by the Populous for our range of flexible meeting and education tables all of which are ideal for multi-use environments and suited the clients needs. We demonstrated the ability to provide competitive quality products to meet their budget and worked closely with ADCO and Populous for a successful result.

                                                                            In the players’ breakout lounge and the main reception we supplied tub chairs, bar stools, sofas, I.AM tables, and Cheese on Toast side tables. In addition to this were bike racks and custom sliding door cabinets. The scenic meeting rooms views were fit out with the EONA boardroom table and Cron Sport high back chairs. The elegant Audit 10 seating with writing tablets were installed in the amphitheatre in that wonderful NSW shade of blue. Breakout and administrative areas were also looked after by TCW with Vital Plus workstations, Stay chairs and Spacio all from Actiu.



                                                                            Products used in this project

                                                                            Educated Spaces

                                                                            05.06.2019

                                                                            Educated Spaces

                                                                            What is an Educated Space?

                                                                            A learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in which teaching and learning occur. It is designed with the intent for growth and development.

                                                                            There are many articles saying there is limited evidence to support the idea that making physical changes to classrooms boosts learning outcomes. They conclude that the outcome is found solely in the teaching model, and the impact of it is derived from the practices of its educators.

                                                                            Despite this, there has been a boom in re-designing education spaces. Why? Well we can look at how technology and the appreciation of collaborative working has driven a need to be more flexible, and create more task-orientated designs.

                                                                            In workplace design the creation of open, agile and collaborative spaces has been successful by creating ecosystems of zones depending on the nature of work. The mistake is applying this same approach to designing for education. Younger people need more structure in an environment as their brains grow, not just learning curriculums but also how they best learn.

                                                                            The phrase ‘everyone learns in different ways’ remains true person to person. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic styles are all known and students develop their best learning style naturally as they grow. Educators have in recent years embraced this diversity using more technology, group learning and visual aids in best teaching practices. In education spaces the different zones for types of learning needs to be strictly outlined. Individual desks for independent classwork, canteen tables for group work, in libraries and open areas for example.

                                                                            • UTS Insearch

                                                                            • UNSW Law Library

                                                                            • FASS Sydney University

                                                                            • Deakin University

                                                                            “Everyone learns in different ways”

                                                                            It remains that rows of desks work in most teaching spaces because the structure is needed. What we can look at is flexible furniture so that classrooms and breakout spaces can be changed for the different learning zones. Folding and moveable tables are ideal to change from individual task work to group clusters. Stacking chairs to optimize space, and create room for large discussions, mindfulness workshops or project space.

                                                                            In open areas and libraries soft seating and laptop tables allow students to move around and create a space that works best for their need.

                                                                            By combining the knowledge of current teaching practices, and what is physically needed to define spaces, we can create agile and efficient educated spaces.

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                                                                              Human Beings: The species in the built environment

                                                                              24.04.2019

                                                                              Human Beings: The species in the built environment

                                                                              Humans: species profile
                                                                              Common Names: Human, sub-species Designer and Non-Designer Scientific: Humana, Excogitatoris; Humana, Non Excogitatoris Diet: Way, way too often Size: See response to diet, above Intelligence: Often questionable Habitat: Human’s place-based thoughts and behaviours have been systematically investigated by scientists. Applying insights derived from their findings increases the likelihood that single humans and herds of teammates in a particular habitat achieve species-valued goals. These objectives often include sustained market success and financial health.

                                                                              Researchers, working in labs tucked into the darkest recesses of psychology department basements, and in spaces as publicly accessible as Grand Central Station, have learned that the responses of members of the sub-species Non-Designer to their habitat can differ from those of humans in the other sub-species, Designer. The most frequently identified reason for these differences is that design training influences how humans experience the world around themselves.
                                                                              Both Designers and Non-Designers share the same cognitive structures, however. The rest   of this section will focus on the form of habitats in which both Designers and Non-De-signers exhibit their highest levels of professional performance, with sub-species differences noted, as relevant.
                                                                              The ways that today’s humans are affected by the world around them can often be linked to collective experiences as a new species, many thousands of years ago. Being in the same sort of environments where early humans would have felt comfortable has a positive effect on the mood of today’s humans. That’s important because, achieving the goals detailed in design briefs depends on humans being in one particular mood or another.
                                                                              Rigorous research studies have found that when humans are in a more positive mood, they think more broadly. As a result, they’re better at problem solving, coming up with creative ideas, and getting along with others, for example. When they’re thinking more broadly, humans are also healthier, because their immune system functions more effectively.
                                                                              There are times when negative moods are best, however. When they’re in a negative mood, all humans are better at quickly and accurately running through emergency protocols, for instance. So, don’t eliminate the flashing lights and annoying sirens that come standard with each nuclear power plant control center, at least in the movies, just yet.
                                                                              Humans, both individually and in teams, are in better moods and do a better job on cog-nitive tasks when they can make choices about the spaces where they’re working—that means they can adjust light levels and temperatures, for example. People, however, can become stressed when they need to make more than 4 or so decisions about their physical workplaces; so curated option sets should be provided. It is better to provide humans with lighting fixtures with a finite and carefully selected set of light color/light intensity options than rheostats with infinite numbers of light color and light intensity possibilities built in, for example. It is particularly desirable for humans to be able to choose where they will do solo work that requires concentration and, in so doing, avoid distractions whenever pos-sible. Distractions generate stress and destroy positive moods.
                                                                              For humans doing cognitive work to feel comfortable in a space, and be in a positive mood, they must feel secure. Humans (of either sub-species) feel sheltered in the same sort of spaces that chipmunks (scientific name: Tamias) do. Chipmunks are regularly social creatures who rely on their wits to survive, just as the earliest humans did. Chip-munks are in relaxed positive moods when they sit on a shielded tree branch with a view out over the nearby meadow, just as people like to survey a restaurant from a high-backed booth with a view of the door. Neither humans nor chipmunks will do their best at work requiring focus when they’re sitting with their backs to passersby in an open area or when they’re being watched by hoards of others, for example. The “chipmunk test” reliably distinguishes spaces where humans are in relaxed positive moods from those where they’re in tense, negative ones.
                                                                              Researchers have identified numerous pleasant experiences humans had in places where they prospered long, long ago that can be conceptually replicated in modern environments to create spaces where all humans perform well cognitively and are in positive moods. For example, gentle air currents can move things such as mobiles, just as mild spring breezes caused flower heads to bob slightly. Also, a range of sensory experiences at a variety of scales can be incorporated into spaces.  
                                                                              Humans are pack animals and never ignore the relative status of those they’re with. Many of their social processes depend on having rank-related information. For example, the distances that humans stand or sit from each other depend on their social standing. Not knowing relative status makes humans tense.
                                                                              Humans today judge their own rank and that of others just as courtiers did centuries ago, by determining what goodies are provided to them—a seat near the manager? A special task chair? Eliminating differences in options provided doesn’t reduce humans’ need to determine the relative standing of others. People use whatever tools they have to signal relative rank. In one case, when everyone was given an identical workspace and coat racks were randomly distributed across the office floor, after a little while, all of the coat racks mysteriously migrated to be beside the work areas of those of highest rank.
                                                                              The sorts of places that make it more likely humans will be in a better mood make them feel appropriately respected. Non-Designers put a lot of effort into deciding if a place in-dicates that they’re valued (which Designers do as well but don’t like to talk about). Both human sub-species share a deep-seated interest in knowing what other people think about them—so they’ve become good at working with whatever clues they can find to do just that. Are bathrooms appropriately designed and maintained? Are finishes used unhealthy? Do spaces provided support the work that people need to do, really?
                                                                              Spaces silently convey additional information that can influence human mood. Organizational and national cultures create the context in which messages are sent and interpreted by users. The only way to understand the symbolic language being spoken in a place is to spend time with the people who use it. Habitats that send unwelcome unspoken messages are extraordinarily stressful for humans—and stress diverts mental energy from the task at hand, degrading cognitive performance.

                                                                              “when humans are in a more positive mood, they think more broadly”

                                                                              Scientists have collected a great deal of information about how sensory experiences in an area affect how humans respond emotionally to a space. So much information, that only a sprinkling can be shared in this profile. Seeing colours that are not very saturated but relatively bright, such as a sage green with lots of white mixed into it, has been linked to the relaxed positive moods that are just right for knowledge work. Looking at colours that are saturated and not very bright, such as Kelly green, is helpful when humans need to be more energized. Being in warm light optimizes the likelihood that humans get along well with others. Around the planet, floral smells are likely to put humans in a good mood, while smelling cinnamon has been linked to more creative thinking; orange aroma is an anxiety-buster. Sniffing lemon puts people in a great mood to do knowledge work.
                                                                              Human hearts start to beat in time to nearby sounds, a process called entrainment, and people keep careful track of how fast or slowly their hearts are beating. Unconsciously, humans use information about their own heartbeats to, in part, judge their own mood—with slower beats being interpreted as feeling calm, for example. Tactile experiences also affect humans’ moods, encouraging them to be more or less empathetic to others, or generous and trusting, or to negotiate more vigorously, for instance.
                                                                              Peoples’ mood and performance are best in spaces with moderate visual complexity. A space with moderate visual complexity features carefully curated sets of colours and shapes. The interiors of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright generally have moderate visual complexity, for example. Designers have much better experiences in spaces with low visual complexity than Non-Designers, who often feel quite stressed in these areas. Designers are generally attuned to variations in design details that are lost on Non- Designers; as a result, Non-Designers can be unpleasantly under-stimulated in a space where Designers are at ease. Non-Designers’ discomfort in spaces where Designers are pleased to be often puzzles Designers.
                                                                              Information is continually being gathered by human sensory receptors and processed. Individual sensory inputs are combined with simultaneous other inputs to determine the overall effect of a space on mood. National and organizational cultures guide the process-ing, integration, and interpretation of information received. Many other factors, such as compensation structure and economic conditions also affect employee moods.
                                                                              In technical terms, the physical situations in which humans find themselves drive their conceptual and tangible assessments of stimuli. When those assessments are integrated they determine humans’ fully processed emotional reaction to an experience. That fully processed emotional reaction in turn contributes not only to professional performance, etc., but also to place-based wellbeing.
                                                                              A final cautionary note: Humans, whether members of either the Designer or Non-Design-er sub-species, can, on occasion ignore their own human-ness, and the forces that influence their emotional response to the world that surrounds them, noted above. This has dire consequences for personal and organizational outcomes. Humans are not automatons, however; they are complex animals, often driven by processes more primitive than they like to acknowledge.

                                                                              Author: Sally Augustin, PhD, environmental psychologist and a principal at Design With Science, focusing on human-centered design. Via Teknion ETHONOMICS. 
                                                                              Read more from TCW in Volume 3 of YELLOW here. 

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                                                                                NSW Parliament House

                                                                                NSW Parliament House Education Centre

                                                                                Design Firm: NBRS Architecture 

                                                                                The refurbishment of the auditorium at NSW Parliament House presented many design challenges due to certain structural engineering restrictions.  Unceasing collaboration between TCW/Actiu and NBRS Architecture resulted in the delivery of a high quality solution. In the auditorium there are 164 seats from the Actiu Audit collection spread over 11 rows.

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                                                                                      The project was not without its challenges. There were air-conditioning grilles on the concrete floor that had to be avoided, so Actiu came up with a 3-seat beam to supplement the single foot pedestal. The seat light fittings were sourced from Dunnart from Light Project, and the signage is an Actiu standard. The specified Instyle Vinyl is a simple and elegant tone that meets with the retardant standard in Australia. All in all this project required a lot of communication with the client, our suppliers and NBRS and we are highly satisfied with the outcome and our ability to manage challenging projects.

                                                                                      • front

                                                                                      • back

                                                                                      • lecturn

                                                                                      • front straight

                                                                                      Products used in this project

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