• Shelly Kenny | 0000-0002-0996-1997

My 'about me' is about you

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


I am a life-enthusiast, curious traveller, design geek (I actually love doing research) and well-being facilitator (because design should make you feel good). Zao Create is where I combine my enthusiasm for life and my love for innovative and beautiful interior design solutions. My academic research and industry experience have shaped my appreciation for the people I design for and my function as a designer and well-being facilitator. Why do I call myself a wellbeing facilitator? It’s because of the design philosophy that I choose use, User Centred Design.


User Centred Design places the person, their experience within a space, at the centre of the design process. I have chosen to use this design approach, rather than basing the design scheme on my style and what is trending because I believe that great design is not about me. It is about creating a great experience for my client. That is what gets me excited. Experience is based on our perceptions, which includes our senses our biases and pervious experiences. User Centred Design is a problem solving tool that allows me to understand my client and their context in a meaningful way, so that the design scheme is impactful and tailored to suit my client. At the end of the project, it is not only a space that looks good but a space that brings life and wellness to those who use it.

Wellbeing is vital within any space you work or play in. This doesn’t mean that all spaces should be a zen like garden or spa. That can be monotonous if its all you surround yourself with all the time. Wellbeing is created by paying attention to the physical and psychological aspects of the interior. That means lighting, air quality, the layout of the built environment, atmosphere and sense of security, all of these things have a role to play on our sense of happiness. There is so much literature out there that challenges our old beliefs on what good design is and encourages us to look at design holistically. When we experience great design as Shashi Caan (2011) says, we experience a sense of dignity. Don’t you want to be in a space that makes you feel that way? I know I do. I believe that the spaces that we surround ourselves with, impacts us on a deeper level than what we give credit to. Churchill (1944) said it himself, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” It is a famous quote for a reason, we identify with it. When it comes to the objects in our everyday space, we attach meaning to them. Just think of an item that has sentimental value. The grandfather clock that was inherited or that special birthday card. Objects are extensions of our identity and a reflection of our personality. My hope is that the people that I design for feel that sense of dignity because their workspaces and homes are extensions of themselves that they are proud of.


Through Zao Create I aim to design refreshing, life-giving spaces where you are able to move easily, work efficiently and where you love to be.


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