Why are we doing this?

We are designers who want to understand how space impacts human behaviour, well-being, comfort and productivity beyond the neurotypical group of people we habitually design for.

Our team at Group GSA is researching Neurodiversity and Mental Health and how we solve for this in workplace design (and further afield, e.g. in education design) to enable “success” and “inclusion”.

It is estimated that around 18% of the population is neuro-divergent which means they process information in a different way (source: Workplace Dyslexia & Specific Learning Difficulties – Productivity, Engagement and Wellbeing by Janette Beetham, Leyla OKhai). In Australia, it is estimated that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime (source: Beyond Blue).

We started this website because we want to test ideas, experiences, engage with the community and capture data. We are researching from the viewpoint of the designer, and our multidisciplinary team includes a psychologist and psychiatrist. We also have personal lived experiences which are motivating us to undertake this research.

Presently we are researching the following, however, our research in the future will not be limited to only these conditions: Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, Epilepsy, Dyscalculia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, Anxiety.

As a part of our research, we are developing a number of surveys to help us better understand needs for a neurodiverse workforce. We invite your contribution.

About Group GSA

The GroupGSA team comprises of more than 200 experts, including award-winning designers, major and complex project leaders, emerging innovators and seasoned professionals. Curiosity, inventive thinking and the sharing of detailed knowledge are important elements of our culture. Our work endures beyond passing trends. Designed for purpose, our projects enrich people’s lives because they deliver what is needed in sustainable, innovative and uplifting ways.

Our disciplines include architecture, interior design, landscape design, graphic design and urban planning. Our sectors include living environments, working environments, tourism & leisure, health & wellness and social infrastructure.

The Working Brain Team include the following designers from within GroupGSA (in alphabetical surname order):

Natalie Viola
Sonja Duric
Michael Edwards
Nick Leong
Tracy Lo
Alex Macdonald
Ian Piggott
Pavel Ornelas
Suzi Wedd
Dion Wee

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