The pandemic, growing consciousness around social injustice and the ongoing environmental crisis are factors creating a new work landscape, putting pressure on the workplace to react. Our research provides designers with the tools to capture belonging and well-being as part of a holistic wellness approach to design workspaces where individuals can thrive.

The Intersection of Wellness


The events of the last few years have created a new work landscape: the continuing pandemic, a growing consciousness around social injustice, and the ongoing environmental crisis have put pressure on the workplace to react. Individuals are demanding more accountability from their workplace beyond statements supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and environmental health.


Adding to this pressure is the shift to working from home for many individuals which allowed time for families to connect and personal wellness; people no longer had to prioritize the demands of working in an office and the lengthy commute that comes with that.

Individuals demand alignment between the workplace and their values.


In order to incorporate alignment with individual values and validate commitments to EDI and environmental health, the new work landscape has to take a holistic view of its greatest asset: its people.


As designers, we’re tasked with designing workplaces that capture the values and aspirations of our clients. In today’s cultural moment, this means helping our clients address the topics of EDI, environmental health and navigating hybrid work with new urgency to create work spaces people want to be in.


What’s Missing

When looking to create design solutions for the pressing needs of today’s work landscape, one doesn’t have to look far and deep for answers. There are many sources that address EDI and environmental health; however, translating this information into the built environment remains an uncommon achievement. Many people still feel their basic needs are not being met in the office.


In design, a holistic approach to designing for people can be captured under the banner of “wellness.” A wellness approach to design is a common instrument in a designer’s toolkit, but how wellness is defined becomes open to interpretation. Our approach to defining wellness is one that incorporates belonging and well-being. Using the terms “belonging” and “well-being” we can define our design approach to capture the needs of EDI, environmental health, and alignment with personal values.


The most prominent tools for wellness in the built environment are LEED, WELL and Fitwel; each capturing different aspects of wellness. However, we found in our scope of work that often involves small office renovations, these tools are not accessible because of cost.


These considerations led our team to the conclusion that the tool we create must not be cost prohibitive and allow our clients to reflect on their workplaces without shame.



Our intention with the research is to provide designers with the tools to capture belonging and well-being as part of a holistic wellness approach in designing workspaces where individuals can thrive.


To meet our goal, our team focused our research around the following questions:

  • How can spaces be programmed to go beyond inclusion of users but also authentically celebrate them?
  • How can spaces address physical and mental health concerns to allow users to thrive?
  • How can you measure belonging and well-being in the workplace?
  • How can we create a tool that is easy and cost-effective to implement?


Meet the Research Team

Julia Campbell
Partner | Principal


Sam Aguilar


Roderick Allen


Ben Kither
Environmental Graphic Designer


Kate Albee
Marketing Director