This Incredible Office Building Is Designed to Promote Employee Wellness

Ontological design is way cool.

Have you ever seen a building that incorporates a product into its design? You might be familiar with the famous Randy's Donuts facade, or have seen an ice cream shop built to resemble an ice cream cup; those are two obvious examples. But how would you incorporate into your building's design a more abstract product like, for example, if your business sold health insurance?


Enter: the HQ for Aussie insurance giant Medibank, designed by the noted international architecture firm Hassell.

As architect Rob Backhouse notes in the video above, the Melbourne-based Medibank wanted its office to be much more than an office. It wanted a multi-layered, integrated workplace that promotes collaboration, allows new ideas to percolate, and supports the wellness of employees. This is what Hassell came up with.

The main atrium features a rainbow spiderweb of different stairs (almost like something out of Harry Potter, though much more modern), which Backhouse explains contributes to the building's overall theme: movement. The building's design encourages employees to walk to their destination rather than take an elevator. Other wellness-based features include several green "retreat and rejuvenation spaces," which employees can use to duck away from the stresses of work. 

Medibank's HQ exhibits many of the key features of ontological design, which Big Think expert Jason Silva explains is the idea that our surroundings play a major unseen role in shaping our lives:

Since the building opened in 2014, a vast majority of Medibank employees have reported improvements in productivity and morale. Both Medibank and Hassell believe the new HQ has reshaped the company's culture — that the design has, as Silva would say, designed the company back, perhaps even in ways that may not be entirely noticeable to those on the receiving end. That's the big idea behind ontological design: Your subconscious is a canvas and your surroundings are the painter of your being.

As far as Medibank is concerned, if its fancy new building really has painted more productive and happy employees, then the partnering with Hassell was a major experimental success.

Source (and for additional photos): Dezeen

Photo: Hassell

**

Robert Montenegro is a writer and dramaturg who regularly contributes to Big Think and Crooked Scoreboard. He lives in Washington DC and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Twitter: @Monteneggroll. Website: robertmontenegro.com.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less