Tanya Hillman
Workplace Design Lead

“The most rewarding moment is overhearing our clients tell the design stories. It’s a sign that they’ve taken ownership of the process and outcome.”

“Workplace design is about understanding human purpose, what people do and how they do it.

In the 21st Century, our workplaces and our work are really defining who we are. People’s sense of self validation, belonging and social connectedness are realised in the workplace rather than in family and domestic communities, as they were in past generations.

As work-life boundaries continue to blur and activities merge, work can be done from everywhere—from home, from the car, in a co-working space or a café. People go to work not to get individual tasks done, but to meet, collaborate and connect.

The most successful and rewarding projects are when the client’s leadership team is closely involved. I’m good at presenting ideas and building relationships and trust—that’s my passion.

Before design starts, my role is about listening and asking the right questions then pushing and challenging clients to think differently. I’m interested in discovering what their inhibitors and pain points are, like how they’re going to attract and retain the best people, how they’re going to work in a more effective and efficient way, how they’re going to build their culture and point of difference, and how they will respond to change.

It’s not just about what spaces they want or how many whiteboards, meeting rooms or dishwashers. It goes back to behaviours, experiences and aspirations before we talk about plans or design.

I’ve always been a maker and a creator. When my kids were young, I took time off from interior design and moved to the Blue Mountains for a tree change. I studied and practised art and had a few exhibitions before moving back to my design life in Melbourne with a new approach and creativity. I still go to flea markets and collect random beautiful objects and reassemble them as new things.

My favourite part—and it often brings tears to my eyes—is visiting a project post occupancy and witnessing business as usual, with everyone working, collaborating and using the spaces exactly as we’d intended.

The most rewarding moment is hearing our clients tell the design stories. It’s a sign that they’ve taken ownership of the process and outcome.”