As a regional architectural firm of 25 people, with expertise in landscape and interiors, our practice size and location is statistically part of only 2% of all Australian practices. We value our regionality and are fiercely proud of it.
What makes us regional is the fact that we have offices in Wollongong, Nowra and Batemans Bay and we live and work in those regions. Regionality for us means that we are embedded in our communities and have strong connections to the people and places that make up our region as Adam clearly explains in his blog, Stitching Together. We understand the character, needs, constraints and opportunities that our regions embody. In the words of American philosopher and educator, John Dewey, “The local is the only universal, upon that all art is built.” We are local, regional and, as a firm, intent on the continuous improvement of our art.
Clyde River, Batemans Bay. Just a few steps from our local office.
The advantages and inherent value of engaging a regional firm is reflected in our immediate understanding of local issues, our sensitivity to community concerns and the practical realities of knowing how to achieve outcomes in our areas of practice. Being regional is a different headspace, it’s a thinking process driven by connection and inclusion, not just by profit and production. If we were comparing design to wine we would say that our practice has a distinctive style and reputation that links it to our region and hence has regionality or “terroir”.
Hugh Johnson, one of the world’s great authorities on wine, came up with this simple distillation of the concept of terroir. He said, “With wine, unlike most products, where it comes from is the whole point. It seems obvious; it really is the point.” Where we come from, the work that we do in our region, and our commitment to the local community gives EJ its distinctive characteristics and flavour. I believe that this defines our regionality and signifies our own special “terroir”.