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This bold new studio space is all about sensory and energy-based design

A collaboration between Humanscale and Hames Sharley saw sustainability take centre stage in this Melbourne project.

This bold new studio space is all about sensory and energy-based design

Photography Nicole England


May 9th, 2024

Leading Australian architecture practice Hames Sharley have just moved into their new home: an open and collaborative space that spans the third floor of an art deco building on Melbourne’s bustling Collins St.

At first glance, the studio appears as a homage to the building’s heritage, complete with a gridded floor plan and large bay windows. Yet on closer inspection, this space is also a fiercely contemporary snapshot of the Hames Sharley brand and the context within which they exist, with the studio a manifestation of their mission to create spaces that are emotive, intuitive, and environmentally sound. This layered reveal is achieved thanks to the considered inclusion of furniture from brands that echo the ethos of the studio, with Humanscale ‘Path’ task chairs standing out.

Hames Sharley Melbourne studio with Humanscale Path chairs (picture as shown above)

As a global leader in ergonomic furniture solutions, Humanscale has long operated with a commitment to sustainability that’s driven by the belief ‘that good design achieves more with less’. The Path chairs are the embodiment of this philosophy, with a dynamic and adaptive design from which 52% is made from recycled content, including around five kilograms of ocean plastics. Humanscale’s deep commitment to sustainability met the designer’s ethical needs for the new space, with Hames Sharley setting a goal to achieve carbon-neutrality and showcase of materials and products that promote regenerative design

Hames Sharley studio workstation, featuring the Humanscale Path chair, Nova light and M10 monitor arm

This alignment between supplier and designer paved the way for a collaboration for this project, with Humanscale supplying a chair in a colour that matched the tonal palette of the office. Contrasting with the chalky white of the Path’s base, a cushion in terracotta makes the chairs a key design statement, functional art pieces that celebrate performance, design and sustainable innovations.

“Our vision was to create an environment that not only accommodates but also celebrates the diverse sensory and energy needs of our team” says Sonja Duric, Director of Hames Sharley. “Our partnership with Humanscale has been instrumental in realising our vision for a dynamic and inspiring workspace. Their products have become an integral part of our studio, enhancing the comfort and productivity of our team members.”

The new aesthetics of the Hames Sharley Melbourne studio

For their part, Humanscale have viewed this collaboration as an important synchronisation between the industry’s value chain, with designers and specifiers coming together to achieve a shared goal of limitless design. “We are thrilled to partner with Hames Sharley on this transformative project. Their dedication to pushing the boundaries of design aligns perfectly with our mission to create products that enhance comfort and sustainability” says Amanda Schembri, Director A&D Australia & New Zealand.

By embracing the collaborative vision of Humanscale and infusing a blend of history and innovation into its design approach, the studio has set a new standard for workplace aesthetics. This evolution not only prioritises the well-being and productivity of its occupants but also serves as a testament to the power of thoughtful design in creating spaces that inspire, invigorate, and endure for generations to come.


Photography Nicole England

This article originally appeared in INDESIGN 91 ‘Work & Play’ Issue.

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