Wednesday 28 August 2019
8.45 am – 5.00 pm ()


Eternity Playhouse
39 Burton Street
Darlinghurst Sydney NSW
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Nicole Greenwell

Sponsorship and Events Header Image DSV Headquarters in Copenhagen by PLH Arkitekter. Photography: Tomas Bertelsen.


  • 8.45 am Arrival and seating
  • 9.00 am Welcome from Cassie Hansen, Editor, Artichoke
  • 9.15 am Keynote Address
    Paulette Christophersen, Partner, PLH Arkitekter (Copenhagen)
  • 10.00 am Keynote Address
    Sarah Cotton, Co-Director/Organizational Psychologist, Transitioning Well (Melbourne)
  • 10.45 am Morning tea
  • 11.15 am Case Study: Barwon Water Headquarters (Geelong)
    Architect: Martin Palmer, Director of Architecture, GHDWoodhead. Client: Tracey Slatter, Managing Director, Barwon Water.
  • Case Study: Bresic Whitney Darlinghurst, Hunters Hill and Rosebery (Sydney)
    Architect: Tony Chenchow, Founding Partner, Chenchow Little. Client: Shannan Whitney, Director, Bresic Whitney.
  • Case Study: Arup Workplace (Sydney)
    Architect: Emily Moss, Principal, Hassell. Client: Andrew Pettifer, NSW Regional Leader, Arup.
  • 12.45 pm Lunch break
  • 2.00 pm Keynote Address
    Sue Solly, Spatial Planning Director, Experience Design, Deloitte Digital (Melbourne)
  • 2.45 pm Keynote Address
    Primo Orpilla, Co-Founder, Studio O+A (San Francisco)
  • 3.30 pm Panel Discussion
    Moderator: Rachael McCarthy, Studio Director, Bates Smart. Panellists: Paulette Christophersen, Sarah Cotton, Sue Solly and Primo Orpilla.
  • 4.00 pm Closing comments from Katelin Butler, Editorial Director, Architecture Media
  • 4.15 pm Closing drinks
  • 5.00 pm Event closes

Keynote Addresses.

Inspiration from Scandinavian work life

Presented by
Paulette Christophersen, Partner, PLH Arkitekter

Mega trends and disruption are common phenomena around the world, but how is Scandinavian workplace design evolving to embrace the future? Paulette Christophersen, an Australian based in Copenhagen, will draw on twenty years of experience in Denmark to share ideas that could inspire new directions in an Australian context. Scandinavians enjoy a high standard of living, have a high level of education and, through a collective bargaining system, enjoy excellent conditions in the workplace. In Denmark, human brainpower is the country’s strongest natural resource, and the focus on science, technology, sustainability and design excellence, creates a unique eco system for developing future workplace thinking. Generations Y and Z have grown up in a highly digital, progressive, and collaborative project-based education system. Their demands for the future workplace, as well as aspects of work life that Danes take for granted, could spark new approaches to designing for Australians at work. In recent years, PLH Arkitekter has designed seven unique global headquarters, along with three innovation centres. Each project presents solutions for the future of the office as a building typology and illustrates how embracing human needs where work, learning and leisure can be integrated, and how they can be further developed in ways we are yet to see.

Navigating an ageing workforce: the challenge and opportunity

Presented by
Sarah Cotton, Co-founder and organizational psychologist, Transitioning Well

An increase in the ageing workforce brings both challenges and opportunities. Paradoxically, while many organizations appear to recognize the importance of managing this transition in age demographics, few appear to have done anything strategic in response. Dr Sarah Cotton will discuss the shifting culture and considerations of an ageing workforce including the importance of taking a proactive approach and best practice strategies for recruitment, retention and retirement for a mature age workforce. The impacts on workplace design (both physically and organizationally) will also be discussed, including the importance of dementia-friendly workplaces. A range of resources to support this significant transition will also be provided.

Experience is everything

Presented by
Sue Solly, Spatial Planning Director, Experience Design, Deloitte Digital

Experience is everything – it creates meaning, embeds memories, transforms our perceptions and behaviours. What we experience today is what we become tomorrow. It’s how we learn. Therefore, in a world where the nature of work and workers is rapidly changing, developing a holistic employee experience that optimizes physical, digital and service touchpoints will become increasingly important for organizations seeking cultural alignment, talent retention and data-led decision-making in their future workplace. Sue will discuss how a human-centred experience design-led approach can improve workplace performance and de-risk investment alongside key considerations to ensure a successful experiential design outcome. Because, when designing experience, every detail matters.

Working beautifully

Presented by
Primo Orpilla, Co-founder, Studio O+A

Every modern office is an ecosystem of interconnected activities — some in harmony, others in conflict — all requiring designated spaces. For twenty-eight years Studio O+A has pulled those spaces together by creating unique design stories. Every company has a history; every site a meaningful relationship to its neighbourhood or its city; every CEO a passion that led to founding the company. All these elements contribute to keeping a corporate ecosystem healthy by making every inhabitant part of a larger narrative and every space a logical outgrowth of the client’s roots and culture.

Case studies.

Arup Workplace (Sydney)

Presented by
Emily Moss, Principal, Hassell

Arup’s new workplace in Sydney is a platform for "exchange" – a place designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills, ideas and experience, which provides spaces for experimentation and invites connection and collaboration, all of which are at the heart of Arup’s work culture. The design is the result of an integration between the developer, base building architect, contractor, Hassell and Arup’s multidisciplinary team. This collaboration led to the delivery of a new kind of workplace, one that thoughtfully connects people, staff and partners in open invitation.

Barwon Water Headquarters (Geelong)

Presented by
Martin Palmer, Director of architecture, GHDWoodhead

Barwon Water’s Ryrie Street headquarters has been transformed through the adaptive re-use of a 1970s brutalist building into a sustainable and contemporary workplace. Originally composed of two disparate blocks, the building now has an infill tower that connects both original wings and hosts a central atrium space, feature stair and skylight cluster. The project has become a catalyst for Geelong’s burgeoning arts precinct, with the creation of a new civic heart and pedestrian thoroughfares connecting cultural institutions.

Bresic Whitney Offices (Sydney)

Presented by
Tony Chenchow, Founding partner, Chenchow Little Architects

Chenchow Little Architects has designed a series of dynamic offices for Bresic Whitney, a residential real estate agency covering the inner-city suburbs of Sydney.

Case study clients.

Andrew Pettifer

NSW Region Leader, Arup

Andrew Pettifer represents the client for Arup Workplace (Sydney). At Work Place / Work Life, he will present the project alongside Emily Moss, principal at Hassell.

Andrew’s role at Arup is NSW Region Leader and NSW Buildings Group Leader. He is a building services engineer with extensive international experience in the UK, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Andrew believes in achieving sustainable outcomes through clear strategic thinking, delivering pragmatic and practical solutions for clients. He is passionate about the power of effective leadership, great design and how the two combined can create great places.

More About Andrew Pettifer →

Tracey Slatter

Managing director, Barwon Water

Tracey Slatter represents the client for Barwon Water Headquarters (Geelong). At Work Place / Work Life, she will present the project alongside Martin Palmer, director of architecture, GHD Woodhead.

Tracey Slatter is managing director of Barwon Water. She is highly regarded by her peers for her distinctive ability to disrupt and innovate in traditional sectors, leveraging off a "learning lens" to identify and act on new opportunities and challenges. She enjoys leadership challenges and is committed to achieving excellent outcomes and improved value for the community.

More About Tracey Slatter →

Shannan Whitney

Director, Bresic Whitney

Shannan Whitney represents the client for Bresic Whitney Darlinghurst, Hunters Hill and Roseberry (Sydney). At Work Place / Work Life, he will present the project alongside Tony Chenchow, founding partner, Chenchow Little.

Design, art and culture imbue the Bresic Whitney offices, through the dynamic environments that Chenchow Little Architects has created. Shannan Whitney invited Tony Chenchow and Stephanie Little to imagine a Darlinghurst office in 2009, a collaboration that continued as the firm grew into new spaces in Hunters Hill, Balmain, and Rosebery. Bresic Whitney is now recognized as a brand outside its core industry and acknowledged for its boldness and commitment to architecture and design.

More About Shannan Whitney →

Panel moderator.

Rachel McCarthy

Senior interior designer and studio director, Bates Smart

Rachael is a senior interior designer and studio director at Bates Smart and has driven the practice’s workplace sector over the past fifteen years. She has developed new work environments for clients such as Ashurst, RACV, Boston Consulting Group, Maddocks, Vanguard and the new Australian Embassy in Washington. Rachael’s passion for people and place has driven discussion and debate between community, corporate and design leaders around the measurability of good design, the ability of design to impact behavior and the creation of workspaces for creativity.

More About Rachel McCarthy →

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