Swings + Roundabouts Winter 2022

Phil and Tiffany Smith, owners of Smith Architects, have specialised in designing world-class education architecture for over 20 years in NZ, Australia and the UK. They believe in creating beautiful human spaces based on research that brings together architecture and evolutionary psychology. They have been recognised for their achievements in sustainable early childhood architecture with their designs achieving many local and international awards for centres including Kakapo Creek Children’s Garden, Gaia Forest Preschool, Three Trees Learning Centre, Campbells Bay Early Learning Centre, Fantails Childcare, Chrysalis Early Learning Centre, Kristin Early Learning, New Shoots Children's Centres and Te Mirumiru Childhood Education Centre. Website: www.smitharchitects.nz References 1. Shane Green, (2017), Culture Hacker 2. Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto, and Daniel Sgroi, (2009), A new Happiness Equation: Worker + Happiness = Improved Productivity 3. Harold, K.G., Aw, A.E, Williams, J.,(2018) Mind Fit ● The second stepping stone is the physical space you want your team to work in. Is it providing the best space for your team to care for children? The physical environment a person consistently works in affects their well-being, physically and emotionally. This is something we at Smith Architects have researched and specialised in for over 20 years now. Our passion is to design beautiful human spaces through creativity, refinement and care that supports a centre’s pedagogy. As a result, the centres we have designed have waiting lists of teachers who want to work there and children whose parents instantly feel happy and secure leaving them in that centre’s care. As a result new centres often break-even between three to six months after opening and as the centre design supports the centres pedagogy it also means that teachers can more easily implement and constantly deliver a centre’s pedagogy. This leads to happy thriving teachers, caring for happy thriving children. Examples of centres we have designed to meet clients' pedagogies include Kakapo Creek Children’s Graden, Creators Educational Trust, Hamilton, Fantails Estate, Giraffes Early Learning Centre, and Chrysalis Early Learning Centre. (Ref p16 Swings and Roundabouts Spring 2019) ● The third is hiring the right people that fit the centre’s culture and who believe in the centre’s pedagogy, then empower them by creating an inclusive environment of knowledge sharing. In a centre where managers and leaders empower, support, mentor, and acknowledge their team, research has shown high team engagement and productivity. This, in turn, supports the mental well-being of each person within the team and there is a very clear correlation between the positive mental wellbeing of a team and business performance3. (Ref p20 Swings and Roundabouts Autumn 2022) Creators Educational Trust, Hamilton (Centre designed by Smith Architects, Image by Mark Scown) Fantails Estate, Dairy Flat, Auckland (Centre designed by Smith Architects, Image by Mark Scown) June 2022 { 29 }