Next Meetup

Sydney Design Thinking Meetup #31: Nature & Learning in Built Environments
Please join us for some thought provoking conversation with interesting people keen on design thinking. This month we have three great speakers talking about biophilic design and reimagining learning environments. THE TALKS Biophilic Design Biophilia is ‘love of life’ (bio equals life, philia equals love) and biophilic design is about creating places that enable people to have meaningful and multi-sensory connections with nature. By starting projects with a biophilic design workshop, it is possible to engage all stakeholders and team members in a creative and empowering way. This helps identify ideas and approaches for shaping the design, to make the places we create the best they can be for everyone involved on many meaningful and sensory levels. Play: the Key to Resilience and Reimagined Learning Environments Fiona Young & Natalia Krysiak This presentation will delve into the critical question of reimagining learning environments which promote playfulness - not just in the classroom but throughout entire cities. The presenters will question the notion of a learning environment bound by the classroom, and propose ideas of playful learning which naturally weave into the design and planning of cities. The content will synthesize the importance of learning, environment, activity and landscape in encouraging ‘playful’ learners for life. MEET OUR SPEAKERS **Caroline Pidcock** Caroline Pidcock was born in Grafton and raised in Sydney, and has been shaped by their mighty water systems. She is passionate about the importance of architecture and integrated design, and how they can contribute to a “culturally rich, socially just and ecologically restorative” future. Her genuine interest and experience in sustainable built environments has been developed and enhanced through her involvement in a diverse range of professional, academic and community commitments. In 2014, Caroline was recognised by the International Living Future Institute as a Living Building Hero and in 2011 was awarded the Marian Mahony Griffin Award in recognition of her contribution to architecture in NSW. After 25 years of running her own practice, Caroline is transitioning to another way of working to that she can focus on how to strategically accelerate the uptake of sustainable ideas. **Fiona Young** Fiona Young is Studio Director at Hayball, an award-winning Australasian architectural practice. She is a practicing architect and researcher in the field of learning environments, and has worked as an exhibition designer within leading cultural institutions including MAAS and the Australian Museum. Fiona is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, focusing on the design affordances of innovative learning environments. She is co-author of the paper ‘Designing for Serious Play’ in the recently published book ‘Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Play from Birth to Beyond’. **Natalia Krysiak** A practicing architect in Hayball's Sydney studio, Natalia Krysiak has a keen interest in the design of children's learning environments and is a passionate advocate for child-friendly cities, engaging in a range of place-making and research initiatives. In 2017 Natalia was awarded the David Lindner Research Prize by the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Her winning proposal is investigating the potential for high-density areas to provide environments for increased play and independent mobility of children. EVENT SPONSOR Thanks to ThoughtWorks Sydney for hosting us and providing refreshments. Please note their new office location above Wynyard Station at Level 10, 50 Carrington Street.


Level 10, 50 Carrington Street · Sydney

Respond by: 09/08/2018

What we're about

Design Thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation and solving complex problems – it’s as much about doing as thinking.

The vision for the meetup is to build a community and ecosystem of people from a diverse range of design practices, industries, contexts and roles… to learn and share. To find their tribe. To get exposed to what others are doing and be inspired. We have a strong focus on using design to have a positive impact on people, our planet, and business.

We’re proud to see this in our community – our members are anthropologists, experience designers, chemists, architects, researchers, engineers, service designers, mathematicians, consultants, app developers, project managers, medicos, startup founders and many other roles.

We keep it pretty casual with plenty of time for networking, talks and panels on a broad range of topics, and a healthy Q&A that often turns into a group discussion. You can read a bit about the history and journey of our community and events here (

New members are welcome! If you’re not a member already, feel free to join our community. Each meetup audience is curated to a degree to make sure we have a mix of new people, as well as the committed regulars.

We’d love to hear from you if you’re keen to speak – or if there’s someone you think we should invite to speak.

Kingsley Jones, Ben Pecotich, Zoe Rosen, Lucas Mara & James Cooper
Sydney Design Thinking Organising Team

Members (4,710)

Photos (368)

Find us also at