Designing for Wellness

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Emerging Professionals Cox (epCOX) is a practice-wide initiative that encourages staff within our studios to broaden their learning and engage with new thought processes, new networks and new ideas.

Cox held its inaugural Melbourne epCOX event in late June, hosting the Young Arup Professionals (YAP) to share and discuss ideas on the theme of ‘designing for wellness’.

The presentations by Cox and Arup teams focused on the human experience in different spaces, and how these spaces can influence our health, our working patterns, and our learning.

How can a fireplace create familiarity and influence the residents of a school boarding facility? The Cox team explored a range of universal elements that could provide a touchstone for young regional, international and indigenous Australian students, finding that the fireplace retained the timeless and universal ability draw students together to share a common experience. A central lounge area with its totemic fireplace will allow students to relax in a familiar setting, aiding the transition between home and boarding house, particularly for those living away from home or in an urban environment for the first time.

Similarly, Cox analysed the working patterns of a media company when redesigning their studios, seeing the need to open-up work stations per the clients’ goals. Beyond this Cox harnessed the opportunity to create a healthier workplace that encouraged movement, created better workflows, and included spaces for multiple activities and staff collaboration.

Understanding how our workplaces or homes influence our health is essential to good design, where fundamental elements like light, sound, and air quality are also key factors.

This was reiterated by YAP presenters who, using their new Melbourne head office as a case study, talked about the kinds of light and noises we are surround by in a workplace and how they change the way we respond to information, physical digestion and these combine to create a state of alertness.

This group of emerging professionals at Cox hope to build upon these industry gatherings and networks to establish strategic inter-disciplinary relationships with like-minded groups in our pursuit for a better built environment in Australia and beyond.