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Working on Well-being

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posted on 2023-03-16, 08:55 authored by Freeman, Sarah

The workplace interior has seen many attempts to improve its design over the decades. However, this has not yet been designed from a perspective influenced by emotional well-being and belonging. These topics are currently becoming commonly associated with the workplace. While workplace designs have traditionally focused on layout and practicality, this thesis explores how emotional well-being in the workplace can be improved using atmosphere to encourage sense of belonging. The workplace context has recently adapted to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and people now understand the benefits of working within a flexible, comfortable environment. While the world has moved towards a new style of working, the built environment must move with it. This thesis investigates how the workplace interior can take inspiration from spatial qualities of the home. The research follows a design led process, combining theoretical and making methods. The solution presents itself as an interior workplace atmosphere that incorporates a variety of spaces at different scales. Sense of belonging in the workplace is relevant and important, not only for the success of businesses and cities, but also for the emotional well-being of employees. The research aims to determine how qualities of interior atmosphere can influence one’s emotional state towards positivity. Through spatial experiments, the author tests how atmosphere inspired by both the home, and positive emotions, can encourage a sense of belonging. Concepts such as the relationship between people and space, and the transition to hybrid working are themes investigated throughout. These concepts have been used to drive understanding and development of the design. Overall, this suggests that interior atmosphere, when designed purposefully and in detail, can influence one’s emotional state. The findings highlighted that future workplaces must include qualities from both the home and office environments to benefit the business and employees. Workplace culture is becoming more diverse now than ever and it is essential that spatial environments adapt with this. This work demonstrates the importance of designing space based on human needs to create more positive workplace environments.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

University Library

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Campays, Philippe