Archive / May 2017
Thursday 25 May 2017
Improving staff communication by design to reduce medical errors

Studies indicate that up to 80 percent of medical errors are due to miscommunication. Accuracy and efficiency of communication between medical staff and confidentiality of information are critical to patient outcomes, but a new research report by HASSELL suggests there is evidence of the need to improve both in public hospital emergency departments.

The 'Emergency Talks' study, conducted by HASSELL in collaboration with the University of Melbourne Centre for Health Policy and the Monash Health Partnership at Deakin University, sought to identify design elements of emergency departments that inhibit or optimise staff communication. The research received funding from the Australian Commonwealth Department of Industry’s Research Connections programme.

It found that current hospital designs are missing critical spaces that allow staff to communicate effectively.

“In our discussions with emergency department staff, we found that outside of the formal communication that happens in meetings and handovers, there are countless informal conversations between staff in passing that are just as important for patient care – but that these must be balanced against the need for patient confidentiality,” says HASSELL Principal Megan Reading, who is also a former nurse.

“Staff want small, adaptable, visually connected but acoustically separated spaces.”

The outcomes of the study suggest the need for new types of protected spaces that staff can use for a variety of activities, including confidential conversations, and well as informal communication.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read about the research on The University of Melbourne's Pursuit.

Image: Fiona Stanley Hospital
Photography: Peter Bennetts

Monday 15 May 2017
Humanity in Space

As Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, develops plans to populate Mars with one million people within the next one hundred years, HASSELL Head of Design Technology, Xavier De Kestelier, is calling on the design community to ensure humanity doesn’t get lost along the way.

In an article titled Humanity in Space that was presented at the opening of Planetary Echoes, an exhibition by artist Michael Najjar, in Berlin earlier this month, Xavier brought a designer’s perspective to ensure the space crafts that get people to Mars and the homes people live in when they get there are habitable, comfortable and most importantly, humane.

During his presentation, Xavier explored the history of aerospace design and highlighted how, despite the brilliance of human thinking that has made space travel a reality, people are often reduced to simply another subsystem of the spacecraft. He argued, that, if left to the engineers, space exploration would not only be extra-terrestrial, it would be inhumane.

In these highly engineered environments, design is often seen as an added extra, a nice to have. However, as Xavier explained, it is in the most extreme mechanistic environments – such as a space station - where the need for good, human-centred design becomes fundamental.

Planetary Echoes runs in Berlin until 18 June 2017.

Read more about Planetary Echoes exhibition

Image: NASA

  • How Can Data Help us Future-proof the Workplace?

    The commercial sphere is shifting under our feet. So how can workplaces be designed for long-term relevance? HASSELL developed the RAW framework to address exactly that.


  • Buildings need to be curated; collaboration with other fields is vital to an era of experience

    As architects and designers, we have to move away from building and creating ‘things’ and instead create places people love - experiences, writes HASSELL Principal Julian Gitsham in Archinect's 'Practice Diary'.


  • Q&A: Matthew Shang, HASSELL

    Matthew Shang has amassed a prestigious portfolio over the 20 years he has been active in the interior design industry, most notably as co-founder of Singapore practice, Distillery, and as a principal at HASSELL, with which Distillery merged in 2015.

    Hospitality Interiors

  • Universities Of Tomorrow Are Becoming High Performing Urban Villages, 7 Reasons Why

    Today’s modern university campus continues to evolve in response to a high degree of disruption. Technological, pedagogical and societal changes and challenges are altering the way we use and appreciate our university campuses. These are the views of Adam Davies who is a leading urban planner, designer and Principal at Hassell.

    The Urban Developer

  • Hive of activity – agile working design

    Agile workplaces that allow staff to choose where they work are making inroads in offices. Liza Young finds out how such spaces will work alongside wellbeing principles.

    CIBSE Journal

  • Creating an Active Waterfront

    The North Bund is a historic area in Shanghai with proximity to the Huangpu River, and it is now undergoing transformation into a lifestyle hub. Andrew Wilkinson, principal at Hassell, talks about the importance of creating a continuous and active waterfront for the area.



    In hectic hospital emergency rooms communication is critical but often difficult. Part of the answer is cleverly designed spaces for staff to talk in that can help reduce mistakes and stress loads.


  • Medibank In Melbourne Champions Green Architecture And Workplace Wellness

    An Australian workplace demonstrates how its championing of green architecture and design provides a comfortable and healthy environment for its workers while enhancing their sense of well-being.


  • State Library of NSW to undergo $15m revamp

    The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) will be redeveloped with new gallery spaces and a children’s learning centre, following a $15-million private donation from benefactors.


  • Hotel design needs to accommodate the ‘blurred lines’ across our lives

    HASSELL Principal, Matthew Shang gives his take on the changing face of hospitality design ...
    Hospitality Interiors 

  • 5 Mins With HASSELL’s Glenn Scott

    The new ICC is a jewel in the redesigned face of modern Sydney. We sat down Glenn Scott, Principal at international design practice HASSELL and Joint ICC Architecture Director, to understand more about the project and what makes him tick.

  • Reclaiming the wild in our public spaces

    It’s part of our DNA to be drawn towards wild and tactile nature. And globally, there is a growing shift to let it creep back in to our cities, to resist the over-programmed, sanitised and manicured public spaces to which we have become accustomed.
    The Urban Developer

  • Galleries need to move away from the traditional white box

    The Louvre doesn’t do it, and neither does the Guggenheim. The Tate Modern’s new galleries make a good job of it, and the Hepworth Wakefield contemporary art gallery in Yorkshire gets close.
    Adelaide Review

  • Reinventing unused spaces and turning them into parks

    A major exhibition series titled Parks Changing Australia, spearheaded by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), will tell the stories of Sydney’s most progressive new parks and their interstate counterparts.

  • Robb Society - Carrie Ho

    Space, or a design of a space, is a subtle art. It can shock and awe. It can beguile and bewitch. 
    Robb Report

  • Sports venues must be iconic yet functional

    Well-designed and accessible sports venues can prolong the buildings' life, says architect John Pauline. 
    The Straits Times

  • Finger paintings

    HASSELL creates intimate spaces with a huge former warehouse to enable guests and visitors to 'gather and connect'. 
    FX Magazine

  • Dennis Ho on Monocle Radio

    Hong Kong’s booming infrastructure projects pull in architects from all over the world. Dennis Ho moved back to Hong Kong earlier this year after spending more than 20 years working for London-based architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harvour + Partners. We visit him at his new digs in North Point.
    Monocle 24.

  • Esperence Waterfront has its future solidified by HASSELL

    Esperance, located 720 kilometres South-East of Perth, may not be the biggest city in Western Australia, but it is blessed with the country’s favourite asset – clean beaches and clear waters.
    Architecture and Design

  • The Art of Business Travel

    Aviation expert and principal at Hassell design studio Mark Wolfe talks with Nick Walton about terminal design, changing the traveller’s experience, sustainability, and the airports of the future.
    The Art of Business Travel

  • The Great Room features in Wallpaper*

    Wallpaper* visits SIngapore's newest flexible workplace designed by HASSELL, The Great Room. 

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