News / May 2016
Tuesday 24 May 2016
Sensorium: A nod to Clerkenwell's historic pleasure gardens

From the sedate to the salacious, Clerkenwell’s historic pleasure gardens are being brought sensationally back to life for Clerkenwell Design Week in a creative collaboration between HASSELL and Scandinavian seating designer HÅG.

The pleasure garden, ‘Sensorium’, will explore how we view and experience the world around us, whether through everyday technology, or through our physical presence in a space. It promises to be a truly immersive experience with a riot of colours and textures, smells and tastes, leading visitors to question how the senses influence their experience of a space.  

The creative collaboration between HASSELL and HÅG has gone beyond looking at purely the built environment to create spaces – public or private – that entice and delight, challenge and intrigue. It offers a new perspective on how people shape design and how design responds to people.

HASSELL Principal Julian Gitsham said the pleasure gardens of the 18th Century broke down social and cultural boundaries by challenging the status quo.

“They fundamentally altered the way people interacted with each other and the space around them,” Julian said.

“As designers, it’s our role to do the same. By bringing people together in new ways, you forge channels for innovation and partnership, driving economic uplift and boosting social and cultural capital.”

Julian will be exploring how such incidental meetings and collisions with people throughout our lives can impact and shape us, in a reflective PechaKucha presentation being held in the Sensorium garden on 25 May.

Sensorium is open from 24-26 May 2016. Visit for more information.

#sensorium #cdw2016

Photo credit: Edward Bishop

Sensorium_Clerkenwell Design Week_Photo-Edward-Bishop
Friday 13 May 2016
Ken Maher appointed AIA President

Congratulations to HASSELL Fellow and former long-time Principal, Ken Maher, on his appointment today as President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).

“Ken’s appointment is well-deserved recognition of his leading role in the architecture profession in Australia over many years, and he will be a powerful advocate for the profession,” said HASSELL Managing Director, Robert Backhouse.

“While Ken stepped away from his formal leadership role at HASSELL several years ago he continues to provide guidance to the practice and to be a key contributor to major HASSELL design projects including the renewal of Sydney’s Darling Harbour.”

Ken said his involvement in major design projects at HASSELL will inform the contribution he makes as AIA President.

“HASSELL focuses on unlocking the potential of cultural, social and economic benefits. My interest in this leadership role will be to work with my colleagues in the profession to demonstrate the role architecture can play in ensuring our towns and cities are sustainable, and that they enrich the quality of our lives through design,” he said. 

Thursday 12 May 2016
Good design to address healthcare crisis

At a time when tens of thousands of nursing and medical staff posts stand vacant, a new report by HASSELL suggests better design of healthcare spaces could significantly enhance staff attraction and retention in the sector.

The Design Matters for Nurses study, conducted by HASSELL and the University of Melbourne’s Health Systems and Workforce Unit, explores how hospital workplace design affects nurse attraction and retention in the UK and Australia.

It found poorly designed hospital wards are having a negative impact on the productivity and morale of medical staff, and can contribute to a culture that devalues what nurses do and how they work.

“In our conversations with nurses across multiple sites, we found that the condition of the facilities they worked in corresponded to how valued they felt by management - whether they had a proper break area, space to debrief, complete paperwork, or rooms for meetings and training,” says HASSELL Principal Kieren Morgan.

“Many nurses can feel as though their hard work is taken for granted, but one way to counter this is to provide a comfortable, effective and efficient workplace that supports nurses to do their job well.”

The outcomes of the study suggest involving nurses in the early stages of design development for new healthcare facilities is invaluable to creating workplaces where nursing staff feel supported and equipped to perform at their best.

Click here to read the full report.

Good design to address healthcare crisis
Wednesday 11 May 2016
HASSELL shortlisted in Shanghai waterfront design comp

HASSELL has been shortlisted as a finalist in a major international design competition for the transformation of a 21-kilometre stretch of waterfront on Shanghai’s Huangpu River.

One of five finalists, HASSELL has been shortlisted alongside West 8, KCAP, Terrain Studio and Agence Ter, with a brief to unlock the east bank of the river and build “world-class activated waterfront open spaces”.

Known as the East Bund in the New Pudong Area of Shanghai, it includes the former site of World Expo 2010 and Lujiazui – Shanghai’s international financial precinct – and is currently congested by ferry docks, commercial buildings, a cement plant and construction sites, with limited public access.

Monday 2 May 2016
Introducing David Tickle: HASSELL Principal, Urban Design Sector Lead

Successful public places rely on many different conditions and considerations, a constantly shifting formula that fascinates HASSELL Principal David Tickle.

“Cities are complex. To make a really great city we need to think about the way people live, the way people move around, the quality of public space, the quality of architecture. Often, part of the role of urban design is to mediate all of those different things, to make them better places for the people who live and work in them,” David says.

David joined HASSELL in 2004 as a graduate of architecture, specialising in residential design. His first urban design project was the original competition scheme for Barangaroo, which he describes as being an “eye-opener” about how buildings and spaces could be used in different ways.

“Joining HASSELL gave me exposure to a whole range of design disciplines, broadening my understanding of cities and the importance of smart, integrated design thinking,” he says.

David’s passion for urban design grew during his time in the HASSELL Shanghai studio from 2010 to 2012. “China is experiencing urbanisation at an unprecedented scale and pace – so it was fascinating to see how Chinese cities are developing and to explore ways to make this rapid change both socially and environmentally sustainable.”

Since then he’s worked on a range of urban design projects, including the masterplan for the revitalisation of the Summer Hill Flour Mills, a project that is turning grain silos and warehouses into a new vibrant mixed-use community. He is currently leading the urban design component of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest projects, as well as the NSW Government’s plan to revitalise the city centre of Newcastle.

“We’re looking at how we unlock the greatest potential for the city, how we help deliver more jobs and housing and more efficient and effective transport systems, and how these in turn build the identity and confidence of the city,” he says.

David’s interest in global cities has led him to instigate a program of urban research projects at HASSELL. His latest research project saw HASSELL teams in London, Shanghai and Sydney investigate how each of these cities is grappling with issues of housing, including density, livability, affordability and delivery.

David remains captivated with Shanghai and the way it’s dealing with ongoing rapid population growth. He has recently been back in the city, working on a master plan competition for a 20-kilometre stretch of the Huangpu River, the city’s main waterway.

David Tickle_profile_01
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