Spatial Experience

Spatial Experience

This is not a normal architecture portfolio. Because, I am not a normal architect. As a professional working in both experience design and architecture, I recognise the qualities of each in the other. The physical and digital are more similar than different. Both are formed by human minds and bodies, for human minds and bodies to experience. One has ancient rules of style and proportion, many actors, established tools, materiality and regulation, and is limited only by the laws of physics. The other borrows many rules of style of proportion, has rapidly evolving tools, many actors, limited materiality and is limited only by the computing capabilities of the day.

Both have the capacity to engage and delight us via our senses.

One way they do set apart is the way they talk about success - experience design puts the user (thats you, and I) first, and celebrates features and innovations which enhance our sensory and social experience. Architectural design description more often preferences the quality of material, the size of the build or the consulting team involved.

The loss of sensory and social storytelling is, I think to Architecture’s great detriment.

Below, four projects have been divided in two parts each:

On the left, Experience Design

  1. Senses

  2. Social

  3. Process

  4. Role

On the right, architectural design

  1. Site and Client

  2. Quality of Material

  3. Process

  4. Role

Elsternwick Rifle Range

Experience Design

Project: REstoration and additions to heritage rifle range

Target User: elsternwick locals who enjoy coffee and booze, commuters, families and events

Goal: provide a best-in-suburb all day food and events gathering place

From first open for coffee to last beers on the way home from the footy Saturday night - the goal was to amplify beauty in the building's heritage bones to create a vibrant and embracing hub of community activity facing the park.

Optimise for the theatre of kitchen and bar views,  and the 'bump' effect of great hospitality design - sharing an experience of dining together, feeling close enough to your fellow patrons that you might bump into a friend and enjoy a nourishing catch up over a meal..

Role: experience design manager

Responsible for coordination of multiple government and private stakeholder interest groups. 

Design, engineering and construction teams coordination.

Documentation of intent of the above groups and acceptance criteria.

Architectural Design

Client: VicTrack and riverland group

Completed 2017

Six Degrees were engaged to breathe new life into the site of the old Caulfield Rifle Club on Glenhuntly Road, adjacent to the Elsternwick Railway Station.The project includes the refurbishment of the century‑old building to house a new café and bar, which overlook the recently completed upgrades to community open space at Elsternwick Plaza by Glen Eira City Council.


ROLE: Project Architect for Town Planning, Documentation and initial Construction stages

Design development and construction documentation

Specification writing

Coordination of consultants documentation

Tender process management and contract administration.

 Photos by Brook James and Tatjana Plitt


Mirvac Riverside Quay

Experience Design

Project: reinvigorate tired tower foyers and hospitality precinct

Target User: tower tenants and THEIR employees, southbank workers

Goal: bring the best of the melbourne grid to a little slice of southbank

Improve employee experience by enriching sensory threshold multiple times daily - quiet, calm and anchoring tower foyers of smooth stone and steel, thick carpet and stained glass.

Improve access to healthy, contemporary lunch options.

Optimise hospitality offer for competitive commercial operators.

Remove or minimise negative environmental factors preventing user occupation of the spaces - wind tunnels, seating only in shade, no rain protection. 

Role: experience design assistant

Design, engineering and construction teams coordination.

Documentation of intent of the above groups and acceptance criteria.

Architectural Design

Client: mirvac

Completion 2018

Ground plane redevelopment of three existing commercial buildings in Southbank, Melbourne; proposed new steel and concrete structure, penetrations to existing suspended slabs, block work and lightweight infills. Works incorporate demolition of existing tenancies and lobbies, as well as infill of existing under crofts, for the creation of three new commercial lobbies, eight new tenancies and associated common back of house facilities and urban realm areas.

graduate Architect:  concept, design development and Documentation

Preparation and coordination of design requirements in schematic, design and town planning documentation. Assisting in preparation of construction documentation requiring coordination of consultants and feedback from corporate client/developer/builder including complex services upgrades.

 Photos are my own


Monash Connect and Standing Room Cafe

Experience Design

Project: creation of 21st century student services centre

Target User: monash undergraduates


improve access to common student services and provide additional support spaces for students in need

improve staff office facilities

improve access to CAFFEINE in this sector of campus

showcase opportunities for collaborative learning on campus

Design for accessibility and welcome for undergraduate students in times of need. Interactions with staff and Monash services should be a time of student experience enrichment, not torment. This meant providing plentiful comfy spaces to relax and reflect whilst waiting or  engage in conversation with student services staff members. For staff, new offices meant a safe place to keep confidential documents, hold small meetings and process student requests. 

Role: experience design DOCUMENTor

Refining documentation of design intent and stringent application of acceptance criteria.

Architectural Design

Client: Monash University

Completed 2016

This project involved the refurbishment of the ground level of two adjacent buildings on the Caufield Campus. Significant demolition of the existing blind facade was undertaken in order to introduce large expanses of ground‑level glazing and new entry points, opening up these buildings to the broader campus ground plane. Building B accommodates the new Monash Connect facility – the main student services interface for the campus, incorporating waiting areas, service pods, staff offices, meeting areas and amenities. An exhibition space and spiritual room complete the interior redevelopment.Building C hosts a combination of different functions; formal and casual student study areas, two prototype ‘collaborative learning spaces’, new offices for the Caulfield Campus Community team and relocation of the premier audiovisual conference facility for the Caufield campus.A new café services both the internal student study areas and the newly landscaped northeast courtyard.

GRADUATE Architect: Documentation and Specification writing

Assisting the Project Architect in the checking and preparation of building permit documentation, coordination of specialist glazing consultants, conducting site inspections and attending meetings as well as liaising with successful tenderer. 

Photos by Lisbeth Grosmann



Oxley Kids

Experience Design

Project: Experiential learning centre

Target User: children 18 weeks to 5 years age, teachers and administrators


provide a best-in-region all day childcare and funded kindergarten facility

bring together the best of contemporary learning design with environmental principles

allow children to learn from and interact with the natural environment THROUGHOUT the year

Design for all abilities and sensory delight. From crib to crawl, first steps and to kindergarten-confidence this project utilised natural design principles to engage children in the seasonality of our planet. The learning spaces themselves prioritised access to natural light, fresh air and abundant green views. Specific in room facilities enabled staff to provide more creative play opportunities and kid-sized kitchen preparation bench allow staff to take children on a journey of learning about food and food systems. 

For staff, supplementary spaces provided opportunities to retreat and reflect - to catch up on lesson planning and meet with parents.

Role: experience design manager

End to end design and stakeholder management.

Responsible for management of client and consultant teams throughout empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test stages. 

Design, engineering and construction teams coordination.

Documentation of intent of the above groups and acceptance criteria.

Contract adminstration throughout prodcut development and launch phase.

Architectural Design

Client: Life Ministry Centre

Completed May 2015

Project Lead: Concept, Design Development, Town Planning, Documentation, Construction and Contract Administration

1600sqm (internal) purpose built Early Learning Centre in Melbourne's outer east. Founded on Reggio Emilia principles, the design is a result of collaboration between Kenneth Edmonds Architects and Andrew Laidlaw Landscape Architects and kindergarten staff. The centre gives children the opportunity to learn, grow and develop socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually; where they can have a sense of belonging and the confidence to explore and learn.

 Photos are my own, plan via Andrew Laidlaw Landscape Architects