Leading practitioners in workplace design and well-being gathered in Melbourne at the end of August for Work Place / Work Life 2016. Held at the NGV International the one-day forum looked at the issues shaping workplace design now and into the future. 

Key note presentations unpacked current conditions and speculated about future change. Topics included Artificial Intelligence and how it may transform our economies and work and the role of big data in informing designers about the neural networks within organisations.

The keynote speakers were Kursty Groves, author of Spaces For Innovation: The Design and Science of Inspiring Environments (UK); Peter Andrew, director of workplace strategies, Asia Pacific at CBRE (Singapore); Su Lim, head of global client engagement for Hassell and founder of Workcollectiv (Singapore/Australia); and Cai Kjaer, cofounder of Optimice and CEO and cofounder of Swoop Analytics (Australia).

A recurring topic of the event was how important it was to understand – and factor in – the organisational culture of a client. The importance of design teams embedding themselves within a client's culture in order to truly respond to their unique workplace requirements was consistently spoken about.  

Work Place / Work Life was part of Architecture Media's Design Speaks: program – a series of stimulating talks, seminars, forums and conferences on and about architecture and design, created to bring design professionals, their clients and interested members of the public together. 

Space Furniture was a Supporting Partner of Work Place / Work Life 2016.