Welcome to Spacelab’s second Advent blog

By Hannah Mellow on 23 December 2015

The end of another year presents us with an opportunity to look back and take in all of our achievements and changes over the year, and to look to the future for more exciting times ahead for our teenage company (we’ll be 14 next year). Every weekday from 1st December until Christmas Eve we will be sharing some of our highlights from 2015.

December 24th

Season’s greetings from all at Spacelab! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Advent blog and have gained some insights into The Lab.

‘Tis the season for giving and this year, in place of sending paper cards, we’re going to donate £500 to Love in Action – a charity founded by a colleague, which supports disadvantaged communities in Uganda.

December 23rd

As we look forward to the year ahead we can assume that by this time next year, if we grow by 10% in 2016, we will have:

  • grown to 48 members of staff
  • raised over £5,500 for charity
  • surveyed and interviewed 4,217 people
  • spent 636 hours either playing football or doing pilates together
  • consumed over 250 bottles of Prosecco
  • analysed over 1,100,000 sqft of space
  • eaten 440 kg fruit

December 22nd

Diversity is important to us culturally, and having a diverse group of staff is essential to our creativity. At The Lab we have 22 different nationalities, including English, Australian, Polish, Armenian and Jamaican.


December 21st

In October we implemented our largest ever move to agile working, for Dixons Carphone, by merging the former Dixons Retail staff into the office previously occupied by Carphone Warehouse. By implementing a new way of working, we’ve been able to double the number of people occupying the space. Read the case study.


December 18th

Our Workplace blog has had over 5,000 views this year! The top three most popular posts (in order) are:

  1. It’s all about the layout
  2. On the benefits of co-location
  3. Spacelab women are leading the way


December 17th

A healthy workforce, especially in the winter months, is a happy and productive workforce. At The Lab, we have a continuous supply of fruit for all staff and we’ve calculated that between us we’ve managed to eat close to half a tonne of fruit in the office this year!


December 16th

This year, our staff have presented and discussed workplace insights at The House of Lords, 100% Design, Digital Shoreditch, UCL, Clerkenwell Design Week, Open House London, London Festival of Architecture and FX Magazine’s ‘Wellbeing in the workspace’ seminar.


December 15th

Our Workplace Consultancy team have a rigorous process for conducting studies of how businesses use space, and they don’t leave any corner “un-examined”. This year they’ve analysed over a million sqft of space!


December 14th

We’ve consumed 228 bottles of Prosecco at The Lab this year – 120 bottles were consumed at supplier events, 50 at award ceremonies, 16 at the staff summer party in July, 17 at welcome, leaving and other events and 25 at the staff Christmas party last Friday!


December 11th

We’re a healthy bunch at The Lab – each month we spend an average of 30 hours doing Pilates together in the Social Hub and the Spacelab football team spends a further 20 hours playing in the local league.


December 10th 

In our March blog we addressed last year’s business benchmarking survey of RIBA chartered practices that showed that while around 38% of architectural assistants were female, the percentage dropped at each level of seniority to around 11% at equity partner or shareholder director level. At The Lab, we’re proud to have a workforce made up of 62% women and a team of directors that reflect our overall staff population – 63% of our directors are female.

SL ladies3

December 9th

Since January 1st 2015, Spacelab’s Workplace Consultancy team have surveyed and interviewed 3,834people to gain an understanding of their feelings and opinions about their current working environments.


December 8th

We were delighted to be shortlisted for Design Practice of the Year in Mix Interiors magazine’s Mixology awards. We were shortlisted for our work with Virgin Money, VCCP, Spark44 and our own workspace, The Lab.


December 7th

We’ve raised close to £5,000 for charity in 2015. A combination of individual fundraising and Spacelab donations has meant we’ve been able to raise money for charities close to our hearts. Charities includeLove in Action, Macmillan, Norwood, Shelter, Centre404, Cancer Research, Batten Disease Family Association and the Dolma Foundation. And it doesn’t stop there – with the festive season fast approaching we’ll be doing more for those in need this month and have ambitious plans for 2016.

December 4th

The Lab today was taken over by some cheeky mini labbers. Between all of us we have 18 kids, and a bump (spot the bump in the photo). If you add all of their ages together we have one very old baby – 158.5 years (less two months for the bump).


December 3rd

Test your mathematics:

If at the start of January 2015 we had 34 members of staff, we said our farewells to 13 and welcomed 23, how many members of staff do we have now?

Yes, that’s right we have 44.

December 2nd

Big Brother watched Spacelab for a full month in September as Cambridge University studied how we interact with each other in The Lab. Everyone in the office wore ‘attractive’ wearable sensors every day for a month while physically in the office. Initial results showed that we are a sociable and communicative bunch: 51% of conversations included some social chit-chat and 70% of conversations were shorter than 1 minute. Full results will be published next year. Some photos are available here.

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December 1st

This time last year Spacelab won the BD Interior Architect of the Year award for our work with Virgin Money on their corporate HQ in Edinburgh, Spark 44, VCCP and the conversion of the art deco Greater London House in Camden.

Topics: data, design, advent, christmas, blog, spacelab, award