Design Urban was established in Melbourne in 2001 and practices urban design and the design of buildings. We design buildings and the shaped spaces between buildings, towns, cities and regions. This inter-relationship forms the basis of making the Public Realm which is the prime community space in any urban culture.  We believe it is important to respect and reflect local culture in the buildings and urban spaces we make.  This is done by exploring the natural and human history of places by making use of local materials, exploring the vernacular, incorporating local building methods, and responding to the social and physical patterns of place and community. By doing this, new places are valued and become permanent. This is a cornerstone of environmental sustainability. We engage in integrated consultation and design processes to ensure that local community and stakeholder needs are heard, identified and responded to by design.

Urban design is political by nature and represents broad social agreements.  On the other hand, buildings are procured through many choices people make which are unique to their particular circumstances and interests. We are therefore respectful of people’s choices to express themselves in traditional or contemporary architecture.  Despite this we are biased towards all buildings being subservient to the need to create a high-quality Public Realm. The role of the architect and urban designer therefore is to make the city easily understood and useable, to reconcile conflicting freedoms, and to fortify people in place, be that physically, emotionally or psychologically.  We are therefore opposed to the current fashion for promoting alienation, exclusion and social experimentation through design. Our strong desire is to respect community culture in places we work, to respond to communities needs and requirements and support and nurture people in place.  By doing this we believe great places are made and supported by existing and future citizens.