In 2018, Hansen presented a workshop entitled Being Human with a couple of colleagues during the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. When it booked out and people lined up to get in, she realised there could be value for others in her own experience. With the support of partners, the idea was produced and presented as Being in Space for children and families during the Dream Big Children’s Festival at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and proved very popular with primary-aged children.
“I wanted to make the ‘Being’ tool ubiquitous, available to anyone who wanted to use it, anywhere in the world – to help navigate life’s ups and downs. It’s very simple and requires you to trust yourself,” says Hansen.
“Life throws challenges our way every day; simple things like trying focus on homework or an assignment, choosing school subjects, having a difficult conversation with a teacher or the boss, caring for others, navigating the more sensitive moments of our friendships and relationships or simply getting out of a car park during peak hour. All of these things present an opportunity to choose how we want to be in that moment.
“Sometimes things are much more confronting – final exams, starting high school, break-ups, a serious diagnosis, physical pain, an unexpected accident or injury or other circumstances beyond our control. It’s all a part of the wild experience of being human.”
Yet, according to Hansen, there is a small space between a happening and our response to it, in which we get to choose ‘how to be’. Hansen, with help from a global design agency , apparent, based in Sydney, has now developed Being. A design code for life as a tool to help capture and amplify that space and help users determine how to be in it.
According to Hansen, the tool can be used in any situation. “It helps us to interact more effectively with others and make decisions that reflect our values and identity; how we really want to be,” she says. “It equips us to better self-regulate emotions, effectively navigate uncertainty and translate ambiguity into curiosity and wonder instead of fear, frustration and anguish.
is a subtle but important shift from focusing on ‘what to do’ or ‘who to be’,
to determining ‘how to be’ – it provokes us to have a conversation with our
The design agency has worked with Hansen to develop the Being. tool into a digital app, launched this month and available for download on Apple and Google app stores at no cost and with no data being collected.
Hansen also offers training for health and wellbeing professionals, organisational wellbeing and resilience workshops through her Urban Mind Studio , and works with cities looking to reinvent and shape the identity and feel of their places.