About

Purposeful Places is all about creating highly effective environments that serve their proper purpose by designing harmonious and inspirational surroundings that improve wellbeing by engaging people through empowerment, emotional and sensory stimulus, and respect

I can help organizations improve engagement, health and well-being by using a research-backed methodology that combines tailored survey instruments with elements of space management, colleague engagement, sustainability, biophilia, indoor air quality management and evidence-based interior design. I also know a lot about indoor plants.

Kenneth Freeman

I have been involved in various aspects of research about workspace design and management for 25 years. This has included working closely with university academics on pioneering research into what really makes a workplace work as well as designing internal programmes to improve colleague engagement, sustainability, customer satisfaction and staff capability.

This started as a result of asking an innocent question: why do we put plants into buildings? What is it about bringing these seemingly ephemeral objects, which take up space, that makes buildings better places to be in?

That led to a voyage of curiosity encompassing the physical effects of plants on the indoor environment, their effects on behaviour and perceptions of comfort and wellbeing, how and why plants reduce symptoms associated with discomfort, why different people have different preferences, and why some planted spaces seem to work better than others.

It soon became obvious that the effects of indoor greenery weren’t wholly to do with plants’ innate characteristics but much, much more to do with organizational culture and the intent and motivation behind enriching working environments to begin with.

As well as that, I have been involved in product development, innovation, and research into all aspects of interior landscaping and indoor horticulture including pest management, watering systems, light, fertilizers, plant species and growing media and have developed industry-leading training and development programmes for colleagues and also architects and designers through well-regarded CPD programmes.

I have also represented the UK interior landscaping industry as chair of its trade association and industry ambassador and have appeared on television and radio and presented at several international conferences, including:

  • Cultivate’20 Virtual. American Hort’s 2020 trade show and conference delivered on-line due to Covid-19 pandemic
  • BRE Wellbeing and Biophilic Design Symposium, Watford, 2019
  • Future Offices New York, 2019
  • Workplace Trends, London, 2018
  • 100 percent Design, London 2018
  • IFMA World Workplace, San Antonio, 2014

My expertise has developed as a result of learning as much from colleagues and collaborators as I could – a rum mix of psychologists, horticulturalists, pest controllers, inspirational business leaders, trainers and even marketers – I’m grateful to them all.