In Conversation With...
Cathrin Walczyk

Journalist Becky Sunshine sat down with Universal’s Head of Design Research, Cathrin Walczyk. As the company behind the design of game-changing spaces like the Ace Hotel London, as well as the communal spaces at Mill Harbour, Cathrin was perfectly placed to discuss all things work spaces, design and wellbeing.

As our personal and work lives merge more and more, Cathrin and Becky explored how we’re no longer tethered to our spaces; technology can enable people to be nomads. Individual spaces don’t need to do everything, instead they must deliver for a multitude of uses to suit our mood.

Although we’re moving away from the proliferation of offices, Cathrin doesn’t see it as the death of the office space. Rather, we’ll be more creative; companies may shrink their footprints, but there will always be the need for a brand hub – it’s what helps to create a company culture. It is still important for people to come out of their homes and explore a new part of the city.

Predicting a shift towards putting people at the heart of our cities, Cathrin expects the future of design is in human-centric architecture and interiors which respond to the local culture, something she feels should define how we create our spaces. Social well-being needs to be high on the agenda too, designing opportunities to meet people in extended community porches, while wellbeing should also be considered in more tangible details like lights, materials and tones.