Why we work the way we do


Public Realm Lab is a research based practice. Our work always commences with detailed exploration and examination of culture and place, current and ideal. We do this through user and stakeholder engagement, mapping and observation, often with collaborators from organisational psychology, visual arts, sociology, change management and business consulting. 

Our work is driven by a concern for people and place and we are explicit about how our design has emerged and how that responds to the questions asked of us. Creating new places is an incredibly complex and magical process that has broad reaching ecological, social, financial and political implications. By communicating clearly and constantly with our clients about what we are doing and why, we empower them to become more fully engaged and critical in the process of making place. We think this creates richer spaces that are more readily appropriated and appreciated by their users. 



Public Realm Lab are facilitators of culture

The physical environment is a manifestation of culture in a particular place.
Our starting point is your culture, values, rituals, behaviours and we craft meaningful and authentic places to house them.


Public Realm Lab are investigators of human behaviour

We design human (and companion animal) habitat. How a space is approached, understood, occupied, altered and departed is the primary consideration in our work. 
We employ a science-based approach in all projects: theorising, testing and adapting based on observation and evidence. 


Public Realm Lab are agents of change

We work with families, councils, universities, public and private organisations to understand, describe and deliver changed physical environments in response to new physical and cultural needs.
We have expertise in strategic masterplanning, change management and facilitation in order to help unpack the drivers for change. Our design process is enriched by a detailed understanding of where you are going and why. 


Public Realm Lab are traffickers of beauty

We strive for elegant spatial and material experiences that provide delight and harmony. 


Public Realm Lab are big communicators

The conception, design, delivery and occupation of new building or public space is an incredibly complex process played out over a number of years.
We communicate constantly, in simple terms, about the whole journey, where we are now, what we will do next, where the key risks and issues lie and how we will manage them.
We create artefacts to guide the journey and share the magic of creating space.


Public Realm Lab are collaborators (of yours!)

We need help to do what we do and that’s how we like it.
We work with social geographers, artists, engineers, organisational psychologists and with our clients in great depth to ensure that each project has the right mix for success.