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Raven & Wood Agency is a design and research agency pioneering in spatial health. We are specialised in the environmental impact on psychological and emotional well-being. Our mission is to improve human well-being by means of integrative spatial design. As a strategic partner, we work with leaders and decision-makers to enable them to enhance human health and thrive in private and public organisations and in their respective reference groups.
     We work internationally and with a network of highly skilled designers, architects and experts who share our values – respecting and taking care of both humans and the environment. For us, health is pleasure and beauty is a function – and both equal financial profit for our clients.


             mail[a]ravenandwood.agency    +358 40 731 3878   HQ Helsinki, Finland


___HEALTH is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.
___WELL-BEING is the experience of health, happiness and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning and purpose.
___WELLNESS is an active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. It is primarily an individual pursuit but also significantly influenced by the physical, social, and cultural environments in which we live.

A paradigm change for built environments is approaching fast.1 Imagine buildings and cities as sources of physical, psychological and emotional well-being. As a part of social and healthcare policies. As everyday elements that contribute positively to the current epidemic of mental health disorders.2
     Imagine a city that nourishes us by healthy and pleasurable food and social connections.3 Buildings that encourage us to move our bodies without making an issue out of it.4 Urban spaces that bring forest with its calming sounds, scents, flora and fauna, to our everyday lives.
     We know how to design such environments. With our partners, we can also build them.


1 Global well-being real estate industry is estimated to grow 8,0 % annually in 2017–22. In the wake of yoga, mindfulness and sleep, spatial health is estimated to reach the mainstream in 2021–23.
2 In Finland, over 50 % of sick leaves are due to mental health issues. Every 1 € invested in preventing and promotion of the most common mental health issues is estimated to pay back 5 €. In office buildings that are designed and built to support health and well-being of the occupants, sick leaves are reported to be reduced up to 50 %. In Finland, one day of sick leave costs 350–1.000 € for the employer.
3 On the governmental level, strategic attention to wellness equals to new entrepreneurship, increased local food and goods production, competitiveness of the region, equity and diversity, and environmental and cultural sustainability.

4 In the regions where people live for over 100 years, the environment has been shown to be a significant contributor of the health of the occupants.

Built environments contribute to how people feel within themselves and how they encounter and perceive each other. Buildings and cities can contribute to equality, choice, and the experience of being in control of one’s own life. They have the power to transmit respect, trust, care and hope.
      Architecture and urban design are significant contributors in preventing polarisation and conflict in society.1 Largely the same elements apply to spatial health and to architecture as a contributor to peace.2 Building peace through built environments is a strategic decision – architectural diplomacy.
     We bring together architects, urban designers, conflict resolution professionals, politicians and other multidisciplinary professionals to build peace by architecture.3 We aim in finding new routes and creating new networks and bringing this knowledge to where it’s needed.

Spaces of Peace – Architecture as Contextual Diplomacy
TALKS
21.11.2019 klo 13.00–17.30
Palace of the Academies
Bryssel, Belgia
Free admission, more information + register to reserve a seat.
1 Today, architecture for peace is a small segment within the field of architecture. It is estimated that only some 30–50 architects globally work on questions of peace. What if 100.000 architects would understand their role as peacebuilders – literally? How would that change the design of our everyday environments?
2 The WHO Constitution states: “The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent on the fullest co-operation of individuals and states.”
3 T.ex ’Spaces of Peace – Architecture as Contextual Diplomacy’ conference in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2019; interviews and perspectives on RWII by Raven & Wood Agency: Spaces of Peace.

How is your team doing and how could your organisation’s premises better support health and well-being of organisation?
     Spatial health analysis is a quantitative and qualitative tool, which provides insight into the experienced stress and restoration during the day, breaks, ability to focus and how the team experiences their workspaces.
     The outcome of the analysis is a report on how the premises and organisational policies support health and well-being of the organisation, what is the state of experienced well-being in the organisation, and how people perceive their workspaces. The report is also a basis for a spatial health strategy for the organisation.

Spatial health strategy is a short- and long-term roadmap for public and private organisations in developing the current or future premises to better suit for the well-being of the occupants.
     Based on research and analysis of the current state of the premises and the organisation, the strategy is a practical tool for enhancing well-being in the buildings and in the community. The strategy can function independently, function as a base for spatial design and renovation, or it can be built to support applying for WELL Building StandardTM Certification.

As a part of collaborator’s or client’s – real estate developer’s, construction company’s, architecture office’s – team, we’ll bring spatial health approach seamlessly to the design and construction process from the beginning until the end.
     We conduct background research and strategic work, we design, evaluate plans and drawings and coach the team in spatial health questions in project development, design and construction phases. In every step, we work with the team, as a part of the team.
WELL Building Standard™ is the leading health and well-being standardisation in the world, and we are accredited to operate with it. For us, it’s a research-based tool in creating high-quality designed environments that support human well-being and health.
     We guide you through WELL™ from the first thought of applying WELL™ to the end of certification process from preliminary studies, registration and implementation to verification, monitoring and recertification.


All design work is based on a well-executed strategy and concept, which give a clear direction to why, what and for whom the project is done, and how the project will proceed. Strategy and concept report is a tool to communicate the direction and goals of the project to all stakeholders.
Nordic design is known for it’s pragmatic take, Dutch design for it’s strong conceptual perspective and Belgian design for forms and materials that trigger the senses. Our concept design work is based on spatial health, pragmatism, strong conceptual take and multi-sensoriality both indoors and in urban spaces.
High-quality materials and well-designed spaces function well and transmit respect and trust towards the occupants.
We design beautiful and well-functioning spaces, which are based on the spatial health perspective. We use clean and environmentally and socially sustainable materials and goods whenever possible. We implement antiques, vintage and pre-loved furniture whenever suitable.
     Depending on the project, we work independently, with freelance designers or in collaboration with an architecture or landscape architecture office.

We speak in public about the connections of space and mental well-being, and how we can affect our own well-being through our environments. Our talks are suitable for staff and client events, conferences and for HR teams and boards of directors.
     The talk Home, space and mental well-being focuses on homes from perspective of mental well-being. Workspace and mental well-being provides the basics of how our working environments impact our well-being and how we can affect our environments with small adjustments. Space, beauty and mental well-being opens up the mechanics and meanings of the experience of beauty to mental well-being. Spatial health as a strategic tool provides insight into the growing wellness real estate sector and spatial health from perspective of the management of the organisation.
     All the topics are also suitable for interactive workshops with focus on the participants’ own environments. The workshops can be a part of workplace wellness days, small client events or coaching sessions for HR teams.




As human beings, we are a part of our surroundings and profoundly connected to it. However, our contemporary lifestyle has largely disconnected us from nature, and also increasingly from other people, time and ourselves. In the future, along with growing understanding of quantum energy, we might also begin to understand our connectedness to a larger whole – energy – as well.
     We approach psychological and emotional well-being through connectedness to ourselves, others, environment, time and energy. All the five components of connectedness consist of pragmatic design strategies and tactics, which are then applied to the design of our environments.




Spaces of Peace: Architecture as Contextual Diplomacy
TALKS
21 November 2019
Palace of the Academies | Brussels, Belgium Free admission, more information + reserve your seat here

2x2 Talks: Urban Space and Mental Well-being
PUBLIC DISCUSSION
10 September 2019 | n
Helsinki Design Week
Architecture Office Kanttia2 | Helsinki, Finland
Breathe in Helsinki
My Helsinki | Helsinki Design Weekly
October 2019

Environments for a Happier Mind
RWII by Raven & Wood: Spatial Health
April 2019

Out of Comfort Zone
RWII by Raven & Wood: Spaces of Peace
March 2019

Rebranding Healthcare: Bridging Fashion and Health
RWII by Raven & Wood: Spatial Health
February 2019 

Don’t Ask What a Building Is, But What It Does
Helsinki Design Weekly | RWII by Raven & Wood
February 2019

Beauty Comes from Respect
RWII by Raven & Wood: Spaces of Peace
February 2019

What Is Spatial Health?
RWII by Raven & Wood: Spatial Health
May 2018

It all began in a tiny seaside village in Uruguay in early 2012. Travelling solo and staying in a tiny hostel shack on the beach in the vicinity of dunes, groaning sea lions and an endless sea evoked a strong innate experience of beauty – a feeling of profound, rooted well-being and connectedness.
     This experience triggered a thought of not just wanting to design beautiful spaces, but the beautiful spaces to have a more profound meaning. Could the experience on the beach village be designed through our everyday environments?
     In the following years, the experience of beauty in psychological survival and recovery, and design for psychological well-being became central themes of my studies. The research culminated on a manuscript of a book on concepts of pleasure and sense of touch as tools for designing for mental well-being.
     Around the same time, the global wellness phenomenon was expanding. It came with growing evidence on the impact of our environments to our psychological and emotional well-being. However, it was still too early for setting up Raven & Wood Agency.
      Towards the end of 2017, the development of the global wellness phenomenon started to show signs for spatial health to reach the mainstream in the near future. Raven & Wood Agency was founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 2018. In the following year, the company moved its HQ to Helsinki, Finland.


–Heini Lehtinen, Founder of Raven & Wood Agency


Founder, creative director
Spatial health specialist, WELL AP


Heini Lehtinen is a spatial designer and writer living in Helsinki, Finland, and working internationally. She is also a WELL AP, a construction industry professional accredited to operate with WELL Building StandardTM.
     Prior to shifting to spatial design, she worked in the publishing sector for over a decade as a design journalist, editor-in-chief and co-founder of several online and print publications. She is also co-editor of the book ‘Studio Time – Future Thinking in Art and Design’ (Black Dog Press, UK 2018). She holds MDes degree in Social Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and BA degrees in Interior and Lighting Design and in Production and Management of Services (Fashion) in Finland.
     Outside work, she enjoys the mountains and the sea, running, hiking, curiosities, antique markets, things uncanny, blueberries, morning sun, excellent gin tonics, and old cemeteries.

        firstname[a]ravenandwood.agency

Raven & Wood Agency works with an international network of pioneering experts from researchers to urban planners, and from holistic healthcare professionals to architects and designers. Depending on the project, the agency works independently, in collaboration with one collaborator, or forms a consortium for bigger projects. Bringing together a multidisciplinary team that shares the same values but have different skillsets, strengths and perspectives enables a holistic take on projects.

What can we do together? How can we help you?
     Invite us for an introductory presentation on the rising well-being real estate market, costs and value of high-performance spaces and buildings, and the value of the well-being architecture.
     At the same time, we’ll discuss the profits of the well-being approach for your own company, organisation, project or development.
     Or, let’s just meet up, have a chat, and go from there. Either way, looking forward to meeting you.

Raven & Wood Agency
Heini Lehtinen
CEO | Creative Director
  firstname[a]ravenandwood.agency
 +358 40 731 3878
HQ Helsinki, Finland

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