In September 2023, Sydney FC proudly unveiled its remarkable $30 million football and community precinct, Sky Park. This state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence is poised to redefine the club’s identity, serving as a central hub for professional football teams, the youth Academy, dedicated coaching staff, and essential administrative personnel. The inauguration of Sky Park also marked a historic moment for women’s football in Australia, introducing dedicated facilities to nurture the most promising young female footballers, thus paving the way for Sydney FC’s A-League Women’s squad.
The collaboration between Sydney FC and Macquarie University was instrumental in the success of Sky Park. This partnership was founded on a shared commitment to fostering community engagement, education, and grassroots football. Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow was actively involved in the project and spoke with excitement at the opening, “Sky Park is finally here. It is a world-class facility that we have been working on for many years. It brings together our entire club under one roof for the first time. We now have a home, in Sky Park, to be very proud of.”
TCW’s comprehensive furniture procurement for Sky Park Sydney FC included a diverse range of carefully selected elements, meticulously chosen to enhance both functionality and aesthetics. From the ergonomic To-Sync task chairs by Dauphin to the versatile Noom 50 breakout chairs with removable writing tables by Actiu and stackable Noom 50 chairs, equipped with trolleys for mobility, every piece contributes to this dynamic facility. The Noom 30 upholstered chairs by Actiu, Little Perillo chairs by Zuco, and Noom 40 stools by Actiu add elegance and comfort to various areas, while the contemporary Rhythm Chair offers flexibility.
The facility includes inviting lounge spaces featuring Allora lounges by Dauphin and Talk lounges by Jonas Ihreborn. Office suites are equipped with Wing Meeting Tables and desks from the TCW Collection. Flexible workstations integrate Mox Pro workstations by Markant, complete with cable management for a clutter-free environment. Athena power rails provide easy access to power sources, and Marco folding tables by Elevar enhance adaptability. This comprehensive furniture selection reflects a commitment to creating a highly functional and visually appealing workspace.
Sky Park’s architectural design is a testament to its aspiration of seamlessly blending world-class football and community engagement. The design fosters interaction and connectivity within the facility and with the external environment.
Sky Park extends its reach far beyond professional football, warmly welcoming community engagement programs, fan days, university education initiatives, and grassroots football training. An outdoor futsal court, adaptable for various uses such as education space, marketplace, or community BBQ area, stands as a testament to the facility’s dedication to fostering lasting community connections.
TCW have been providing furniture solutions throughout The University of Sydney for nearly a decade including the Chau Chak Wing Museum which was designed to share USYD’s vast collections of antiques with the wider community. The collections began in 1860 and have continued to grow showcasing significant artistic, scientific and archaeological artefacts.
From ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, to the art of First Nations people, and the works of leading contemporary artists, the Chau Chak Wing Museum is a centre of cultural and artistic excellence and was completed to the Gold Level Standard of the University’s Sustainability Framework model, equivalent to the GBCA’s Greenstar rating. TCW assisted FDC and the Architect to provide a unique customised seating solution for the Museum’s welcome area which receives visitors on route to view the collections which contain over 30,000 artifacts.
On the impact of the museum, donor Dr Chau Chak states, “It is my sincere hope that the Chau Chak Wing Museum not only directly benefits Sydney’s cultural landscape and emerging generations who seek knowledge, but also indirectly encourages others to contribute meaningfully to the enrichment of Australia’s arts and culture.”
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.
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.
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.”
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
“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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
UNSW Law Library
FASS Sydney 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.
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.
September 2008 was an auspicious month as it was the month that Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy which, 2 weeks later, triggered the 2008 Global Financial Crash (GFC). It was also the month that Tables Chairs & Workstations now known as TCW was formed out of a lounge room in Ashfield. The first office started off with a rather dodgy garage, which typically had around 10-20 sample chairs and no stock. The office doubled up as a lounge room and a coffee stop with a house-trained rabbit! Modest beginnings framed around the uncertainty in the market.
10 years later we have beautiful showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne a fantastic client base, some of the world’s best-known suppliers who have supported us through the growth pains and a developing team with a broad range of industry knowledge and skills. We aim to be the “supplier of choice” and I am extremely confident from the feedback and ongoing support we have, that we are doing most things extremely well, most of the time.
We have increased our stock levels for both workstations and task seating as well as a number of feature pieces. We have just moved into a 3,000m3 warehouse allowing us to stock more. deliver quicker and by turning over our stock quicker, control the pricing more effectively. TCW are also working with an external team to have ISO 9001 certification which we will have towards the end of this year.
So what is new and where are we heading over the next 10 years? Although we have a pretty good plan we are also open to opportunities as and when they arise. The quiet space, team space and agile environment are workplace areas where TCW feel we have great options and a lot of education around. We will have more products launched this year and we are looking forward to having a launch party in November which can double as a birthday!
“The office doubled up as a lounge room and a coffee stop with a house-trained rabbit!”
Next month Orgatec and no doubt new opportunities will come about. To all those clients, suppliers that we have been involved with over the past 10 years. THANK YOU. To my teams in Sydney and Melbourne you are the best and we could not move ahead without your continued support and strength.
Dance for Life 2018 is rapidly approaching and last Wednesday we opened our Alexandria showroom to some of the madness. Along with our organisers Thinking Works and InStyle, seven of the teams that are participating in the June 15th competition created stalls where all proceeds went to their fundraising targets.
The night was filled with stalls of fairy floss, popcorn, and cocktails to mini golf, video games, face painting and fortune telling. TCW supplied delicious paella for the masses and the incredible team from ReachOut managed tickets. Youth ambassador Yaseen spoke passionately and with gratitude about his experience with ReachOut. He enthused about why it is so important that the generations of youth growing up today feel more open, and are compelled to have more conversations about mental health than before.
In the waves of technology, social media usage, and constant bombardment of news and events, having a quiet space to think and rest ones mind is difficult, especially if you don’t have a quiet one to begin with. ReachOut Australia is one of the most comprehensive and full spectrum organisations when it comes to addressing issues of mental health. Their services go above and beyond in providing a plethora of ways to understand and manage mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anorexia and wide variety more.
TCW is so excited that we are involved this year and hopefully for more to come! Good luck teams and don’t forget that tickets are still on sale for those of you who haven’t got your hands on some yet.
Yes, Dance for Life is an incredible event for the architecture and design industry in Australia, but none of us would be here if it wasn’t supporting a worthwhile cause.
We are so excited to announce that the second issue of our in-house magazine YELLOW is available online now and physcially in our showroom. This issue we were fortunate to get words from Jeremy Harkins from Ineni Realtime, Markants Jan Beltman’s ideas on the healthy workplace, and an exclusive interview with Tom Lloyd of Pearson&Lloyd.
One of our features was the insights from Jeremy Harkins, founder and Director at Ineni Realtime. In this article he delves into the new frontier of virtual reality, and how it will effect the architecture and design industry, as well as our means communication with our customers. Read below to see for yourself.
“The biggest thing that will change about the internet in the coming decades is how we interact with it.”
We will see our technology shift from screen based interaction to environment based information, eventually reaching a point where the barrier between virtual worlds and the real world are blurred to invisibility; the screen slowly drifting into obscurity much like the radio’s of yesteryear. While we are not completely there yet, Virtual Reality is helping us to make a screenless world possible.
Let’s start by clarifying what Virtual Reality (VR) is exactly, as there seems to be a lot of misconception about the differences between Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), as well as a bunch of other acronyms and labels for the concepts involved.
The current best definition is that VR is part of the “Reality-Virtuality (RV) Continuum”, coined by Paul Milgram’s co-authored paper in his 1994 work “Augmented Reality: A Class of Displays on the Reality-Virtuality Continuum”, that defines the two extremes of MR as Reality to VR, with AR and other derivatives sitting somewhere in the middle. This continuum has always existed, even before the advent of the digital age. It is the dreamworld, the realm of imagination, and we have been trying to access it through mysticism since the dawn of civilisation.
For the first time in history, our digital tools have progressed to where we can experience an alternate reality as if we were physically there; which in a sense, we are; after all, if I can see it, touch it and manipulate it, to my mind at least , it is real.
Games and experiences are being created with a huge variety of content matter. From piloting a fighter jet in a global war, to learning Tai Chi in a picturesque garden, to aiding dementia patients with virtual cues to minimise the effect of memory loss; the imagination really is the only limit with what is currently being created. These brave new virtual worlds are not just producing the stuff of imaginations, they are also allowing us to better understand the real world, with virtual reality being explored by businesses to discover and expose the virtual aspects of their products.
Architects are using VR to step inside their buildings before they exist, exploring design options virtually before committing to build them, allowing for testing and a surety of design that is helping to produce better architecture. Builders are using AR and VR on site during construction to assure the architect’s vision is accurately achieved. Facilities Managers are using MR to peer through the walls of their buildings, visualising pipes and services that are normally hidden from view and virtually inspecting their assets. Occupants and designers are furnishing empty spaces in VR, allowing people to understand how a space will work when it is completely fitted out.
With the goal of always giving the customer a better experience, suppliers and manufacturers are making virtual versions of their stock for marketing purposes and to allow the propagation of their digital products in virtual spaces, extending the reach of brands. All of these activities are contributing to the establishment of a pervasive virtuality that is seamlessly integrated into every object and task around us.
In the continuing journey of technological progress, we are infants in this brave frontier of virtual space, only recently having reached a point where we can believably immerse ourselves in a virtual reality with the current generation of VR headsets, like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.
In just a few years we have seen massive leaps in what is virtually possible, and the current round of VR solutions have shown that this technology is here to stay, and not just a passing fad. Soon the novelty of virtual interaction will subside, and the expectation of access to the valuable and invisible information floating all around us will be common.
It’s an exciting time to be alive as we get to watch a parallel reality being revealed.
Happy One-Year Birthday, to Our TCW Melbourne Furniture Showroom!
Melbourne, thank you for embracing our Victoria team and for making us feel like part of your community. Over the past year we’ve opened 1 new showroom, hosted 2 events, launched 3 new brands, and completed 89 projects. Not to mention the hundreds of unique faces who’ve crossed our path.
Again, thank you, Melbourne.
Situated in one of Melbourne’s highly regarded hot spots, The St James Precinct, the showroom quickly became a rather unconventional office space within a more conventional office building. TCW Melbourne was designed in collaboration with Interiors firm PTID. Together, our intent was to provide clients with a community space of their own – a place to work, to connect and to relax.
“Happy Birthday to Melbourne! We hope that everyone that attended our birthday had a fantastic time celebrating with us.”
TCW Melbourne has brought a fresh, and more holistic solution to the Melbourne commercial furniture industry – quality product, great service and competitive pricing. This combination was our goal and so far we’ve been blown away by the response of the Melbourne A&D community and with the niche we’ve been able to fill.
Some of our most memorable projects to date include:
Arup, Buchan Group Melbourne, Castle Towers Sydney, C02CRC, Central Queensland University, Dan Murphy’s, DST Bluedoor, Monash Law Faculty, Porsche Cars Australia, Qantas, Renault Australia, UNIQLO, Julliard, Australia Post, Sidra Solutions, Holman Fenwick Wilan
If you haven’t made your way up to Level 4 at 535 Bourke Street, we encourage you to pop in for a welcome visit. Local residents, Robbie Lloyd and Patricia Esser, will be happy to great you, brew you a coffee, and if you act quickly, there may be some leftover birthday cake in store for you too.
As told by TCW Director Kasim Ali-Khan – Last weekend had 2 personal highlights. The first was winning nearest the pin at Wakehurst, a birdie and the promise of beer. The second requires a little more explaining…
EAMES DEMETRIOS needs to be recognised as a global and interstellar traveller, poet and story teller. In the world of CS Lewis there are fictional characters appealing to children with a parallel meaning to adults, inviting the symbolism of Aslan as Christ and the world of the stars and constellations. 2 layers operating in a mesh of fiction and symbolism. Eames has created a world with a series of “markers” in 127 locations around the world in remote places, under water and in more popular spots, where stories unfolds with a tint of local flavour and characters with creatures from the deep depths of his mind. Welcome to Kcymaerxthaere. Eames has overlaid “Earth” with his parallel world of design and creativity having no boundaries to the imagination of form and function. Throw in characters, stories and places in Kcymaerxthaere where “Nobunaga” links “Alcibiades” at the “Adalanta Desert” across the parallel universe with the current geography of the world and you have a vivid world of stories and possibilities.
Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, needs to be recognised as a global and interstellar traveller, poet and story teller.
So there I was in a place, known in our world as Kangaroo Valley, a tranquil spot owned by Designer and Sculptor Alex Ritchie with Edward de Bono guardian, Amanda Mobbs, in the middle of the adventure to lay another piece of the world of Kcymaerxthaere here in our back yard. So the 128th marker was laid amongst a frenzy or formwork and setting concrete, with 1541 words ( not quite infinity less 29) a team of enthusiastic pilgrims just being a part of a story not yet written. As the shadows lengthened and the mossies tore into their work, the last letters were pressed and the crowning beer drank to a good days work. Eames indulged us with 20 minutes of his world and the vision for these markers and the promise to set out more in this land “we” call Australia. Not sure what I got out of this experience apart for an appreciative and commemorative shot glass for my participation, but I would not have traded the day and the experience of being a part of something important. One day the places and the characters will become household names like Aslan and the White Witch and when I take my grandkids to the marker in kangaroo valley and probably others, I can say I was a part of this adventure.
Here at TCW we love supporting change, progress, and improvement. That’s just what we do. We help our clients with their business changes and challenges each and every day. We also know it’s important to focus on our own transformation – to stay fresh and relevant to the clients we serve…to people like you!
CHECK OUT our latest Press Release to find our more about our stunning new Melbourne showroom and the recent Launch Party!
TCW (Tables Chairs & Workstations), is excited to announce that its Melbourne Showroom is now open.TCW proudly presented the new space during a stylish launch party on Thursday, May 28th. The evening included some of Victoria’s most well-known interior design and construction influencers, all of whom enjoyed an evening of socializing, live entertainment and an opportunity to casually explore some of TCW’s new products.
The showroom, located at 535 Bourke Street, Melbourne, marks a new stage for the Sydney-based, commercial furniture dealer who has undergone a recent rebrand and holds significant plans for continued expansion.
“TCW Melbourne has been designed to provide clients with a community space of their own,” says Melbourne Sales Manager, Robbie Lloyd, “a place to visit, to work, to relax and enjoy a conveniently located environment situated in one of Melbourne’s highly regarded hot spots – The St James Precinct.”
It was this sense of friendly community that was felt during the evening’s festivities and one that TCW wishes to continue to support. One designer remarked, “I’m getting to know my colleagues more tonight than I have in all the years we’ve worked together. This space is simply fantastic.”
TCW Melbourne was designed by renowned Interiors firm, PTID. Staying true to the brief – design something slightly unusual within a more conventional office space – TCW Melbourne boasts a dramatic black open ceiling, polished concrete floors and feature carpet by Interface. A warm, autumnal colour palette was chosen to coincide with TCW’s new mustard-yellow logo and current design trends.
On behalf of PTID, Director, Cameron Harvey commented, “TCW brings a much more holistic solution to the furniture supply industry. One that will provide a welcome sense of competition to the design marketplace in Melbourne”.
TCW’s Director, Kasim Ali-Khan, echoed this sentiment. “So why TCW and why Melbourne?” said Kasim, “By answering the market’s demand for great product, great service and competitive pricing, TCW aims to fill an existing gap between service offering and actual delivery.”
Kasim acknowledged the wonderful depth of design in Melbourne and congratulated all in attendance for being part of such a superior design community. He also expressed gratitude toward the brands that have helped to solidify the business (Actiu, Dauphin and Markant), as well as introduced the crowd to TCW’s latest manufacturers (LoOok Industriesand naughtone). Both align well with the residential and hospitality aesthetic increasingly found in today’s office environments. Others present included reputable ergonomic and accessory brands (Colebrook Bosson Saunders, Zgonic, BeCode, Oof).
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the new space for yourself, TCW welcomes you to schedule a tour and looks forward to meeting more of the Melbourne community.