Our principles of design

These are our principles, what we stand for as a practice, how we gauge our success, and the principles we are happy to be judged against. They are also principles that I hope to instill in my students.

They are inspired by two things; a recent presentation I attended by Sarah Castle of IF_DO Architects and a book I recently read by Claire Nash on Contemporary Vernacular Design.


1.    Embrace Simplicity and the Ordinary
If it can it be built simply, with common materials in standard sizes, it should be.

2.    Respect for the planet
Sustainability is not a choice, it is inherent in everything we design

3.    Honesty in the use of Materials
If it looks like wood, it should be made of wood

4.    Celebrate Craft
We aim to express how the building is put together in an honest way through the detail

5.    Abhor the pastiche
A building or place should reflect its own era and not have a veneer of another

6.    Create and sustain Communities through building
Not divide and diminish them

7.    Encourage Cooperation, Collaboration and Learning
Understanding our weaknesses and learning from others’ strengths is vital to our development as a practice – “every day is a school day”

8.    Design for People not Profit
We design buildings to bring joy and happiness to the people and communities who use them, not to makeprofit to the people who build them.

9.    Respond to Context
Our buildings should reflect people, location, scale, history, culture, landscape, community