Why Surroundings?

We give you the best of both worlds. We’re qualified architects with many years’ experience in the practical elements of building design. But we also offer expertise in the more emotional, human-centred side of design. We approach projects from the perspectives of both the client and the architect – and that’s what sets us apart.


Who we work with

We’re happy to work with project owners, community leaders, architects and designers – or anyone who takes a design lead and wants help with the workshop and briefing process.

Whether you’re a small business owner wanting to develop your own space, a niche business looking to showcase your innovation and creativity, or a community project leader needing help with social engagement and consultation, we’re here to help you realise your perfect environment.


How the process works

We’re in the business of starting conversations. Our workshops inspire stakeholders to discuss ideas, viewpoints and experiences – creating a culture of trust and inclusion between the community, design team and project owners.  The process is split into four consulting phases:

1. Define

We meet with the client and lead architect to define the project goals, the consultation process and the manner in which we will engage the community. We then tailor the workshop content to best achieve your objectives.

2. Insight

We run workshops, group exercises, surveys and other research methods to engage all stakeholders and inspire dialogue. Each group consists of 8-10 people and always includes the designers and project representatives. We also custom design digital surveys to support the workshop.

3. Human Centred Brief

We collate and consolidate our findings from the workshops and surveys – identifying patterns and opportunities. We also analyse similar projects to find best practice examples, and then formulate our findings into a User Centred Brief, which can be used by the client and architect as a springboard for their design.


4. Alignment

We interpret the workshop data to provide environmental and cultural recommendations for your design. We then conduct regular peer reviews at key points in the project to ensure its development aligns with the community’s feedback.