Jenna Mikus

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Areas of interest: Design for Health & Well-being; Eudaemonia; Phygital (Physical + Digital) Experience Design; “Smart” Environments; Innovation & Design Thinking; Architectural Science; Sustainable Development & Urban Growth; More-than-Human Urban Theory; Self-Determination Theory; Co-design; Inclusive Design; Design or All

BEP, CMS, PMP, SSBBP, LEED AP BD&C, WELL AP; MSc Sustainable Environmental Design, Architectural Association (UK); BSc Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (US)

Jenna Mikus is a PhD candidate in the Urban Informatics group at QUT’s School of Design in the Creative Industries Faculty. She is also a sessional academic in the School of Business and aligned with the Centre for Decent Work & Industry. Jenna received her BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering (with a minor in Entrepreneurship & Management) from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she was a Beneficial Hodson Scholar and her MSc degree in Sustainable Environmental Design from the Architectural Association in London, UK where she was an AA bursary winner.

With her background in engineering, architectural design, and business strategy, she has developed a specialty in phygital (physical + digital) transformation implementations (most recently within the built environment). Jenna comes from spending 20 years consulting for industry at large firms, including Accenture and Booz Allen, and at smaller firms that specialize in digital transformation in the built environment. Before joining QUT, Jenna founded the consultancy firm Eudae Group to advise clients on how best to curate flourishing environments that enhance occupant health and precipitate organizational success. She continues to consult on designing for health and well-being with clients and certification bodies across North America, Europe, and Australasia.

Thesis Title: Co-designing with Older Adults to Define Eudaemonic Design

Jenna’s research and advisory work are based on the neo-Aristotelian concept of Eudaemonia (that is literally defined as eu (good or health) + daimon (true self)—being one’s best self) and the applied psychology construct of Eudaemonic Well-Being (EWB) to understand how to Design for EWB in the built environment. As a PhD candidate who has come from industry, she has recognised the propensity for companies to design wastefully for “the art of the possible” or frugally when considering “the mighty dollar”, oftentimes forgetting occupant interests. Her PhD research aims to challenge these tendencies.

This doctoral research focuses on exploring what occupants want and need in spaces that support EWB—or flourishing physical, mental, and social health.  Jenna seeks to gain this understanding by co-designing with older adults, within the context of their home environment.  By working with this demographic, she endeavours to establish Eudaemonic Design as a design paradigm for optimal health and well-being while also addressing population ageing concerns.  The result of her research will be a Eudaemonic Design framework with design guidelines that will characterize Eudaemonia-supportive environments for older adults and potentially other demographics.

Principal Supervisor: Assoc Prof Janice Rieger
Associate Supervisor: Assoc Prof Deanna Grant-Smith

Estimated Completion Date: February 2023