The Centre for Conscious Design

Conversations on Conscious Design | Jenna Mikus & Eleonora Velluto

September 28, 2023 – 12:00 pm
Event Recordings (Listed for Members)

Eleonora Velluto is an architect based in Rome. Her journey in architecture was marked by her involvement in various university projects, including the European Solar Decathlon contest for sustainable housing. A graduate of the Technical University of Munich, Eleonora completed her master’s studies with an experimental research thesis on outdoor climate comfort applied to a hospital’s courtyard. Her expertise in hospital planning was further refined at the Politecnico di Milano, where she obtained a postgraduate degree. Currently, Eleonora applies her knowledge and passion at Studio Cartolano Srl, specializing in hospital design, urban planning, incorporating elements from the natural world into architectural designs. Beyond her professional endeavors, Eleonora is the coordinator for the Rome chapter at The Centre for Conscious Design (CCD).

Jenna Mikus has a unique blend of engineering, architecture, and design experience garnered from work and research conducted over the past two decades. She is a strategy consultant, blending applied research, innovation, and problem-solving design, and has specialized in advisory work ranging from energy conservation and smart buildings transitions considering buildings, people, and technology to deeper examination of place-based transformational change and post-anthropocene advocating design (that values a symbiotic approach to both human and planetary health). During her PhD, Jenna focused on designing for flourishing health and well-being, exploring that through the lens of Aristotle’s concept of eudaemonia -being one’s best self. This approach enables her to emphasize designs that cultivate people’s physical, mental, and social health while also elevating the benefit of intentional, inclusive praxis. These perspectives on eudaemonic design inform Jenna’s work as the leader of her consulting practice, Eudae Group, LLC, as well as her teaching, writing, and research.

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Jenna Mikus, PhD is a design strategist, researcher, mentor, and speaker. As the Founder and Managing Partner of the Eudae Group, Jenna focuses on fostering environments that promote flourishing health and well-being. Drawing from a global educational background spanning engineering (BSc in the US), architecture (MSc in the UK), and design (PhD in Australia), Jenna seamlessly combines rigorous research with innovative strategies. Her approach integrates evidence-based science with engaging co-design methods to visualize and actualize organizational and spatial transformational change across a spectrum of sectors.

Throughout her career, Jenna has served a prestigious roster of global clients. However, it is her work and research relating to eudaemonic (i.e., “best self”)-focused design that is most recognized, as it underscores a commitment to realizing human flourishing in and by design, given its dual interpretation as both intentional research praxis (i.e., engaging people inclusively via co-design and creative methods) and spatial curation practice (e.g., creating enriched, experience-enhancing environments that promote health and happiness for people and the planet).

An ardent advocate for bridging industry practice with academic theory and research, Jenna holds esteemed positions as an Honorary Fellow with the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Wellbeing Science and a Visiting Fellow with QUT’s Centre for Decent Work & Industry. She also contributes her expertise as a Research Advisor for the International WELL Building Institute and serves as a Mentor and Judge for Engineers Without Borders.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Jenna is deeply engaged in fostering community and advancing interdisciplinary dialogue. She is actively involved in the Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program’s Flourishing at Work Interest Group and is spearheading initiatives such as the HFP Flourishing by Design Community of Practice, aimed at promoting intentional design processes and outcomes. Jenna has also recently rekindled her childhood appreciation for the arts. Personal and professional pursuits include rediscovering inspiration through music and aesthetics as a member of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Chorus, a student of Dalcroze, and a ceramicist as well as participating in neuroarts (e.g., JHU Arts+Mind Lab’s Intentional Spaces Summit) and neuroarchitecture (e.g., Academic of Neuroscience for Architecture & Moving Boundaries) events, respectively.

When she’s not immersed in her work or artistic interests, Jenna enjoys exploring her new Melbourne home with her husband and beloved pup, indulging in her passion for cycling, nurturing her extensive collection of indoor plants, experimenting with new recipes, and embarking on adventures that nourish the body, mind, and soul.