Next week, a flock of local and international design experts will descend upon Sydney to discuss the future of workplace design as part of the Work Place / Work Life forum.

The forum will take place at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst on Tuesday 29 August. Four keynote sessions, three case studies and a moderated panel discussion will comprise the full-day program.

“The design of a workplace is so important because it can enhance or hinder the wellbeing and productivity of staff,” says Cassie Hansen, editor of Artichoke magazine. “By transforming an office into a well-considered space, organisations can increase the physical and mental health of employees, as well as their performance.”

A keynote presentation by Steven Holl Architects’ Beijing-based director, Roberto Bannura, will be one of the day’s highlights. The presentation will explore micro-urbanism through the lens of Bannura’s own work, which aims to create “cities within cities” through the development of integral urban platforms.

Other keynotes will come from Eric Parry, founder and principal of UK-based Eric Parry Architects; Caroline Burns, director of Singapore-based Workplace Revolution; and Robbie Robertson, a partner at Deloitte Digital in Sydney.  

Case studies to be presented on the day include Gensler’s Dropbox Sydney design, WeWork Martin Place and Pyrmont by TomMarkHenry with WeWork, and the HASSELL-designed Clayton Utz offices.

Full Work Place / Work Life program here.

List of speakers below:

Roberto-Bannura.jpgRoberto Bannura, Steven Holl Architects (China)

Roberto Bannura joined Steven Holl Architects in 2007, and in 2010 was made director of the Beijing office. Bannura has been responsible for large-scale and institutional projects across Asia.




Caroline-Burns.jpgCaroline Burns, Workplace Revolution (Singapore)

Caroline Burns is the director of Workplace Revolution in Singapore. She brings to the Work Place / Work Life forum 20 years of entrepreneurial business leadership and consulting experience.




Eric-Parry.jpgEric Parry, Eric Parry Architects (UK)

Architect and artist Eric Parry is a Royal Academician and recipient of an honorary degree of doctor of the arts from the University of Bath. His practice has achieved over 30 awards and numerous commendations for design excellence in architecture, master-planning and interior design.



Robbie-Robertson.jpgRobbie Robertson, Deloitte Digital (Sydney)

Robbie Robertson is a partner at Deloitte Digital in Sydney. With 21 years’ experience in the development consumer and employee strategies, and the transformation of brand identities.




Tom-Owens.jpgTom Owens, Gensler (Sydney)

Tom Owens is the Sydney studio director of global design firm Gensler. A registered architect in Australia and the United States, Owens has over 20 years’ experience in the design, management and delivery of architectural projects around the world.




Kim-Vella.jpgKim Vella, Clayton Utz (Sydney)

Kim Vella is currently the head of premises and procurement at Clayton Utz, an Australian commercial and pro bono law firm. For the past 12 years, she has led the transformation of Clayton Utz workplace strategy with the aim of “future-proofing” the firm.




Cushla-McFadden.jpgCushla McFadden, TomMarkHenry (Sydney)

Cushla McFadden is one of the women behind Sydney-based design trio, TomMarkHenry. The firm’s work spans residential, retail, hospitality and workspace projects, and has been acknowledged with a number of local and international awards.




Rosemary-Kirkby.jpgRosemary Kirby, Rosemary Kirkby Associates (Sydney)

Rosemary Kirkby has returned to her work environment consultancy Rosemary Kirkby and Associates following three years as head of change and sustainability for The GPT Group. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the property and financial services sectors.