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Spacecraft — The Workplace Design Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Spacecraft Podcast series reviews and examines how well-designed workspaces can be transformative, not just for day-to-day working, but for businesses as a whole. Dan Moscrop, Founder and CEO of Them Design speaks with leading businesses to see how design has impacted their workspaces. We interview the directors of co-working organisations that are leading the charge on how office spaces should be created, and the architects behind some of the most innovative office environments you'll see.


United Kingdom


The Spacecraft Podcast series reviews and examines how well-designed workspaces can be transformative, not just for day-to-day working, but for businesses as a whole. Dan Moscrop, Founder and CEO of Them Design speaks with leading businesses to see how design has impacted their workspaces. We interview the directors of co-working organisations that are leading the charge on how office spaces should be created, and the architects behind some of the most innovative office environments you'll see.







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Rachel Edwards — Designing for seven generations

Rachel Edward is Workplace Futures Lead at Lendlease, and if you're involved in workplace in London you'd be pushed to not be aware of her work. She's Rachel has been involved in a number of pioneering projects working on workplaces globally applying evidence-based design thinking. Rachel is all about how people use the places that we build. She is passionate about building sustainable workplace communities, with a focus on how the design of places can make a difference — to society, to lifestyles, to businesses, and to the planet. In our interview, we look at how we design for the future alongside what we need now, and how to integrate the workplace into larger schemes.


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Collin Burry — Design is about getting your hands dirty and diving head first into the learning process

Collin Burry has been with Gensler for nearly 27 years and is as passionate about design as the day he started, which comes across really well in our interview. Collin has built his career and standing by delivering the kind of projects many of us would give a right arm to be involved with (Apple, Pixar, Nike, Samsung, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Nokia... the list is endless) winning over 85 design awards for his work. Normally for a bio I cobble together bits I find on Linkedin and other sites, but I loved this on Collin's Linkedin About section so posting verbatim: "For me, design is about getting my hands dirty and diving head first into the learning process. Using my experiences, old and new, to improve my practice and lead me to new places. I am a left and right brain designer, creating environments that reflect my client’s ethos, while striving for authenticity and intuitive functionality. I consider myself a ‘soft modernist’, meaning I use contemporary thinking and techniques to evoke results that garner exceptional human experiences. I embrace influences from the arts to galvanize my design process and shepherd my clients to embrace extraordinary places and spaces. One of the proudest moments of my career was when I was inducted in the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2013. SF Magazine also recognized me as one of the top 100 most influential LGBTQ leaders in the Bay Area. I am a long-time advocate of design education, championing the advancement of the Interior Design profession through legislative action and continued learning opportunities." Collin is super-engaging and brimming with enthusiasm, with some great stories and experiences mixed in — enjoy!


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Ivana Stanisic — How the blurring of the lines between live, work and play is improving our communities

Ivana Stanisic wowed me a while ago in a talk she did for PlaceLabs, the them was 'Belonging' her key message was the necessity of valuing personal agency. Ivana’s talk portrayed her belief of how a sense of agency is not only important to people on an immediate, individual level, but how it’s key to the longevity and success of buildings and communities. “We have these joyful places which are socially and visually a mess.” Ivana went on to explain, “That’s why people go there, not because it’s a set of beautifully designed closed systems with buildings that architects have lovingly crafted… It’s because places have allowed people to move in, to adapt, change uses, and allow different types of people to move in.” An Associate at Tate Hindle, Ivana has a particular interest and expertise in housing, as she considers this the most important place in people's lives – where design can make the most difference. The home environment – both the building itself and the place surrounding it – plays a huge part in quality of life and the wellbeing of the people who go on to inhabit the spaces we create. So I wanted to get her angle on how much has changed since we now spend more time at home and less time in the office. She has extensive experience of residential-led, mixed-use projects and strategic masterplanning – both in the UK and internationally. She has worked on a wide range of projects, including all scales and stages of work – from individual buildings and streets, to neighbourhoods, towns and cities. Ivana is passionate about creating places that support communities and improve people’s lives – with users, insights, and collaboration at the heart of the design. In 2021, Ivana was shortlisted for the World Architecture News Female Frontier Awards – as an Emerging Architect of the Year, and was previously longlisted for RIBA Rising Stars in 2020.


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Ben Channon — We need to design happiness into our spaces

I read Happiness by Design by Ben Channon during Covid, packed with sensible suggestions, and a checklist of how our homes should function — after the success of the book, Ben expanded on the concept into a Happiness by Design Toolkit, his most recent book, which looks at a much broader field of architecture and design including workplace. As an architect, author, TEDx speaker and mental wellbeing advocate, he is well known in the industry as a thought leader in designing for happiness and wellbeing. Ben is a Director at wellbeing design consultancy Ekkist, where he helps clients and design teams to create healthier places, and researches how buildings and urban design can impact how we feel. He developed an interest in design for mental health, wellbeing and happiness after suffering with anxiety problems in his mid-twenties and talks openly about them in this interview - he now speaks about this subject to businesses and universities around the world.


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Chris Coleman-Brown — Places need to work for people

After a unique route into real estate; Chris worked in managing agent and client-side roles on many of the most exciting developments of the last 20 years. With a focus on putting customer experience and unifying place narrative at the centre of asset strategy; he's long banged the drum for how places need to work for people, in order to realise relevant and authentic experiences and outperform business plan objectives. Collaboration led to the creation of Cureoscity — a prop tech that provides digital layers for built environments, and Aletheia a strategic real estate placemaking and management consultancy. Both businesses have grown rapidly since their launch and are the main focus of Chris' work today...


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Rosanna Vitiello — How could shifts in organisation, knowledge, and ownership impact the places we play, work, and call home?

I'm know Rosanna through the PlaceLabs event we founded together (soon to be rebooted, might I add!) and can comfortably say she's one of the smartest, most engaging and creatively curious people I know. — and I know a lot of smart, engaging, creatively curious people. From the Place Bureau website: "Rosanna Vitiello creates places with purpose. Guiding deep research into places and destinations she reveals their cultural potential and distinctiveness. With close to 20 years international experience, she’s an expert in place research interpreting the local essence of a place into striking narrative, public realm and experience design. As a creative director she has developed visions and place identities for many of the world’s leading cultural districts, natural destinations and urban developments, from Rio de Janiero, Brazil to Chengdu, China. She maintains a role as a Research Associate at Central St Martins, London" The Place Bureau are a strategic studio that "re-imagines new frontiers for places around the world" explaining that "people value places that mean something to them. Drawing on urban research, foresight and cultural mapping we use narrative and cultural strategies to unlock the power of a place – defining what makes a place meaningful and articulating place identity". The Place Bureau partners with innovative clients worldwide to "add a human, cultural dimension and long-term value to the places they develop – guiding them to enter markets with local credibility, generate civic impact, and attune to local distinctiveness." We discuss a number of topics covered in Place Bureau's latest new report Civic Futures.


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Nick Gaskell — How to build communities from scratch

Nick explores his interest in progressive, diverse spaces for working and learning. He has a passion for promoting technology to innovate in how we create modern workplaces. In our podcast he share some of the secrets to Hawkins\Brown's unique approach to design. Super passionate (and speaking at the speed of sound), Nick leads teams delivering award-winning designs in the workspace sector. He shares here his deep understanding of workspace client needs and future aspirations, enabling thought leadership and creative input that looks beyond the standard workspace product. Nick has designed and delivered projects that have pushed the boundaries of future-thinking workspace projects. This includes buildings that are cutting edge in their approach to sustainability and health and wellbeing. Here East for example, is a ground-breaking creative and digital hub located within London’s Olympic Park, converted from the existing Press and Broadcast Centres to provide space for academic institutions, local start-up businesses and established global companies. And in Canada Water, the former Printworks will provide circa 320,000sqft of Grade A office space and ancillary uses. Nick also mentions this project in Wembley that never quite made it which is well worth a click! Wembley Studios Visuals


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Will Sandy — Creating sustainable projects to build a new social capital

I find talking to Will is always inspiring, and though he's from a different sector I love his approach to work and passion for self initiated socially beneficial projects. Though he's a Landscape Architect by trade I find it hard to 'put him in a box', to me he's more and inventor / creator. "Will joins the dots between architecture, art, the environment and imagination, adopting an innovative approach to the standard design process. He works across various sites, scales & styles, from furniture design, urban interventions and small-scale architectural projects, to larger strategies and masterplanning." The youngest person ever to become a Fellow at the Landscape Institute he runs his own practice and consults with numerous other firms while also teaching at Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Greenwich University. His practice is currently working on schemes for the public sector, local government and for private clients, including the reimagining of a car-centric environment in South Wales, a small rewilding scheme, and a sculptural street furniture collection. He has delivered installations at cultural institutions such as Glastonbury Festival, the Southbank Centre and several international projects with the British Council, most recently in Caracas where he led a collaborative team on the design and realisation of the Catalyst Cube. Enjoy! Linkedin


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Jennifer Bryan —Silence is really loud in leading change.

Jennifer Bryan is a published author, speaker and Director of Change and Leadership, who has worked with nearly 40 different organisations across multiple industries. In today's podcast Jennifer manages to unpack all the complex elements you need to consider when looking at change management. Much of her work is centred around her values of helping people, though her work that means helping people on all levels, by making sure people are thought of first, last and throughout change projects and programmes. She has developed a holistic approach to change and created a unique leading change framework, the ABChange Model and uses her commercial insight to help lead people in change. Jennifer is a Non Executive Board Member of the ACMP (Association of Change Management Professionals) UK Chapter. Jennifer is author of Leading People in Change – A practical guide (February 2021), book review on Elemental Change: Making stuff happen when nothing stands still by Neil Usher in Corporate Real Estate Journal vol. 11.1, and articles Building Resilience in a Changing Environment in Workplace Insight Magazine (February 2022), Hybrid Working and How We Escape the Constraints of Leadership in Workplace Insight Magazine (April 2022), Leading Change with Foresight for Growth in AshleyKate HR news (January 2021), Principles, Assumptions and Etiquette on Virtual Change Management in AshleyKate HR news (July 2020), With the People End in Mind in AshleyKate HR News (February 2020) Successfully Managing Change in the Workplace in Corporate Real Estate Journal vol. 8.1 (October 2018), Journey of Leadership in the Workplace in iCroner (September 2014) and Lead Behaviour in Coaching at Work (July 2012). Jennifer has presented at University of Reading Henley Business School of Management Conference and Alumni masterclasses, Association of Change Management Professionals (Global and UK), World Institute of Action Learning Global Conference and Loughborough University, to name a few...


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James Saunders — Without the right people you can't achieve your business goals.

James Saunders is the Associate Director of Workplace Recruitment at Talent Locker, they specialise in placing experts in Workplace Consulting and Change Management. Every business we speak to seems to be struggling to fill positions or find great people, so we thought this was a perfect time to ask an expert where have they all gone? James has a fantastic network of people that can help design an environment that'll bring the best out of your employees. With 15 years’ recruitment experience, James leads the Workplace, Co-Working and Real Estate team at Talent Locker. If you’re looking for an exciting new opportunity to really make a difference at a company or looking for the right person to make that kind of impact, reach out to him at Some useful links from James and his team: Blog: Workplace trends: What’s new for 2022? 2021 Workplace Trends Conference: Blog: Back to workplace – the wrap up Workplace Strategy Salary Guide


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Nigel Oseland — Beyond the Workplace Zoo

Friend of the show Nigel Oseland is back with his most recent book on workplace design, 'Beyond the Workplace Zoo', backed up with years of research and experience (and his wife Maggie's insistence he gets out of her hair during lockdown). Nigel is an environmental psychologist, workplace strategist, change manager, researcher, international speaker and published author with 11 years of research and 23 years workplace consulting experience at some groundbreaking firms including workplace consultant at Johnson Controls, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects and specialist workplace practices AMA Alexi Marmot Associates and DEGW. Nigel draws on his psychology background and his own research to advise occupiers on how to redefine their workstyles and rethink their workplace to create working environments that enhance individual and organisational performance, delivering maximum benefit. He specialises in workplace strategy, design briefing and change management to help create workplaces that meet psychological needs and facilitate collaboration, creativity and concentration. Nigel has advised corporate businesses, public sector bodies and educational institutions in the UK and throughout EMEA. As always, Nigel is great to listen to, and he also kindly provides a code to get money off his new book within the interview.


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Lee Penson — How to deliver big ideas to big brands with a rapid delivery and sustainable outcome...

I had the pleasure of meeting Lee at the Virtual Interiors Event during a talk we did together. This is one of our longer recordings as Lee is so engaging I struggled to cut much of it out. Lee founded & continues to lead globally renowned Architecture & Interior Design studio PENSON, is a regular global keynote inspirational speaker covering business & workplace change & is engaged as global Programme Director to deliver business-wide culture & workplace enhancements for some of the world's largest & high-profile brands & entrepreneurs. PENSON have gone from strength to strength, working with some incredible brands, but what impresses me most about their work is their ability to get big ideas signed off — those brave creative statements many of us designers start with at the beginning of the project that eventually gets worn down to a shadow of their former self. PENSON have the rare gift of being able to get their clients on-side to create unexpected solutions. All of which are underpinned by a solid sustainable approach and delivered at breakneck speed. As they say at PENSON "Life is too short to waste time in dull or inefficient spaces. We're the global disrupters in Architecture & Interiors."


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Dani Salamon & Michael Kieck — Creating a Blended Solution to Workplace

We've worked with both Dani and Michael of MoreySmith on some of our favorite (and indeed award-winning) projects. We love working with MoreySmith due to their attention to detail and the fact that they push every project as a matter of course. Dani has recently been promoted to Director of Design, she joined MoreySmith in 2010 with a BSC first-class honours degree in Management and Marketing of Textiles from Manchester University and a Diploma from the Interior Design School. Her project portfolio ranges from high-end private and commercial projects to working with leading multinational brands in the music, fashion, marketing and drinks industries. Dani’s strong brand awareness and collaborative capabilities, combined with her passion for bringing specialist and artisanal craft and workmanship to a project, helps to underpin her unique and distinctive style. Michael moved to London and joined MoreySmith in 2015, having studied and gained experience working on a diverse range of projects in South Africa, including food and beverage, exhibition and workplace design, alongside high-end residential and product design. At MoreySmith he has worked on a number of projects within workplace, repositioning and residential from a boutique hotel in Bath to innovative co-working spaces in Paris, finding creative solutions that add value to each project. Michael considers people at the heart of his designs, working at all stages from conceptualisation through to detailed design and closely with the client team to ensure the final handover retains the excitement and integrity of the original concept.


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Jonathan Wagstaffe — Why We Need To Over-Communicate With Our Staff

Jonathan is a tech entrepreneur, digital marketing educator, and keynote speaker, with decades of experience in growing businesses. We're taking a slightly different angle for today's episode — looking at how digital can help us engage with employees and build our brand. In 2018 he launched Growva, an organisation designed to educate and help leaders of growing businesses to increase sales and customer engagement by better using their websites and other digital tools. He is actively involved in how Growva's customers use digital and inbound marketing to drive sales growth in 2021. He is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Management at Cranfield University, where he lectures on subjects from Digital Marketing to Customer Advocacy, and was described by New York Business Expo as a “Marketing Change Agent”. Jonathan has three decades of experience as a tech entrepreneur, Digital marketing specialist, and is skilled in the use of marketing technology to enable fast business growth and enterprise organisational transformation.


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Simon Jordon — Applying First Principle Thinking to Your Workplace

I met Simon through my good friend Ben James, and was immediately captivated by his warmth and humour, which you'll hear comes across well in the interview. Simon Co-Founded Jump with Shaun Fernandes 21 years ago and has grown an enviable list of clients (starting with Nike no less). Very much focused on how to capture the spirit of a brand through their work, Jump's clients include Google, Nike, Rapha, Fidelity, Saatchi & Saatchi. Bloomberg, Starwood Hotels, Unite Student Accommodation, The o2 and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. In 2015, Simon oversaw the merger of Jump Studios with Populous. The partnership has enabled Jump Studios to extend both geographical reach and scale of projects, finding new and creative ways for brands and organisations to connect with their audiences. Simon encourages his clients to think from a position of First Principles. What if you started from a position of nothing? Looking at the results of this strategy in Jump's work, it looks like it's a solid approach.


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Sally Rice & Beth Harrision — We had to launch The Virtual Interiors Event to bring back organic connections.

Beth and Sally met at Sketch before both setting up their respective businesses just before lockdown. As they navigated their new ventures and caught up with their network. "We kept hearing the same message, there was a loss of confidence in meeting face to face which felt like it was stalling the market. We were both missing the opportunities created by bumping into people — the organic connections we all make and leads we pick up. We kept saying to each other, "the industry really needs a virtual p[platform to get people reconnected, but then we realised that no one else was going to do it."


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Caroline Pontifex — Finding the cultural motivation behind a business, and what makes them tick.

Caroline Pontifex is director of workplace experience at KKS Savilles and leads their occupier and workplace strategy team. Advising occupiers using workplace as a vehicle for change, and developers ensuring real estate solutions are able to respond to change, her work analysing emerging occupier and workplace trends, and developing standards and space planning principles has lead to the studio winning prestigious awards.


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Giuseppe Boscherini, Nikita Mikhailov & Olga Vysotska — How are you feeling?

Due to the current situation with Covid I wanted to touch base with podcast favourites Giuseppe Boscherini & Nikita Mikhailov who are joined by Olga Vysotska ( Treasurer, Board Member, Maternal Mental Health Alliance; Chief Listening Officer, PsyPub) to talk about how Covid is affecting us as we work from home over a prolonged period. Giuseppe is a designer and architect who is constantly thinking around problems, and as part of his response to Covid, home working and creating something for people to feel safe within open-plan offices, he's created something called BoxOffice. As ever there's a wealth of great information here within the conversation.


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Neil Usher — Making stuff happen when nothing stands still

We catch up with Neil Usher, Chief Workplace & Change Strategist, GoSpace AI, on the back of his talk at Workplace Trends which you can find here Neil is an avid blogger and author of two books, The Elemental Workplace, and now Elemental Change. We interviewed Neil just over two years ago and it's still one of the most listened to episodes (well worth a listen if you haven't already). From his wealth of client-side management and leadership experience from around the world in a variety of industries. He is a sought-after conference and academic speaker, always bringing a fresh perspective while challenging assumptions and myths. Neil's new book is around change, which can be applied to workplace or organisations, but more about how we need to be the masters of change, we can't sit back and let change happen to us or expect others to do it for us. The timing of the book is impeccable in the current climate. Enjoy.


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Rachel Basha & Nicola Osborn — Human centric design and the changing face of the landlord/occupier relationship.

Our interview with Rachel Basha, Founder and Design Director and Nicola Osborn, Creative Director of Basha—Franklin. As an Interior Design business they have human-centric design at the core of their work, we caught up with them after their Future Forward webinar which you can catch here. Rachel started Basha Franklin only a couple of years after arriving in the UK, and as an agency, they're going from strength to strength with an enviable client list. Nikki joined as Creative Director in September 2019 and is already applying her creative force of nature to the business and its culture. As said on their website "The workplace is a fast-evolving landscape, and your business requires a stimulating, agile space that supports change. We design intelligent solutions that respond to your specific office culture and nurture your valued people. Everyone deserves an inspiring, engaging, healthy place to work. We want to partner with businesses who feel the same."