Carlotta Dove, workplace strategist at design firm HLW, on how she got started in property, her top TV and song picks, the celebrity she would most like to meet and the superpower she wishes she had.

Carlotta Dove headshot

Carlotta Dove

How did you join the industry?

I have always been fascinated by the intersection of people and place, and how the spaces around us have the power to influence the way we think, feel and behave. After finishing my master’s degree in psychology in Germany, I decided to move to London and have been active in workplace strategy ever since. Through my job, I bring people together in work environments that are as unique as they are, helping them be productive, creative and collaborative.

What does your job entail?

Every day is different. As the EMEA strategy lead at ARK with HLW, I advise clients across industries, from finance and legal to tech and retail, and I work with leadership to make large-scale project decisions. I also run ‘future of work’ thought leadership projects.

What do you like most about the property industry?

The sense of connection I get working with clients to solve their problems and futureproof their real estate, and the people within the industry themselves – there is a real sense of camaraderie and joy.

And what do you dislike most about it?

In real estate, processes and standards can feel somewhat stuck in the past, making them more rigid. Innovation and change are happening – but slowly.

What would you change about the property industry?

I would like to see more real diversity, multidisciplinary teams and higher salaries at junior levels to increase equality. We must all push for tangible metrics and actions around sustainability, and invest in sustainable workspaces now.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

As a psychologist working in the workplace industry, I try to carve out my own path from the start, instead of following in the footsteps of others. Having done so, I am now in the fortunate position to act as a mentor, and bridge the way for other psychologists and academics looking to break into the industry.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Inspiring leaders, companies and property developers to be brave and innovate their HQs and buildings to have a tangible positive impact and add value to people’s lives – transforming the way they work, shop, eat and play.

What do you value in people?

I value transparency, creativity and a willingness to uplift those around them.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

Think laterally, and don’t go for just one dream job role or company. Finding your niche takes time, so explore as much as possible to see what works for you. Get comfortable asking questions and never be afraid to challenge the status quo. Don’t strive for perfection; strive for continuous progress and lifelong learning.


Something to watch:

My current obsession is Westworld, a TV series that imagines a dystopian future of interaction and the use of AI to cater for human needs. It catapults viewers into mind-bending themes from human consciousness and free will to the ethics of artificial sentience. The series was advised by David Eagleman, an American neuroscientist, who is the author of The Brain: The Story of You (highly recommended reading) and opens neuroscience to a wider audience.

Something to listen to:

The songwriting in Althea by the Grateful Dead is ambiguous and my interpretation of it changes as I grow older and find myself in different chapters of life, yet I always find myself coming back to it. If nothing else, the guitar riff and atmosphere it evokes requires at least a one-time listen.

A celebrity I’d most like to meet:

The celebrity I would most like to spend an hour with is Robin Williams. Thoughtful, hyper-empathetic and sensitive, he was one of the funniest and most talented actors we have had in our lifetime. I would love to just have an hour to listen and learn from his life and stories.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower, it would be being able to beam myself to other places in a matter of seconds. Living and working in the UK, I often miss my family and friends from my home country of Germany, so that would be neat. Scientists, take note.