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Four guiding principles 

At BLOK Design Associates (BDA), we care about sustainability informed by climate change and its impact on human well-being. We share a vision of making the world a better place through sustainable, human-centred, and culturally aware design. Our mantra is to provide high-quality design to our clients with a difference. As such, BLOK is guided by the following principles:

  • Design excellence

  • Sustainability

  • Human-centred design

  • Cultural awareness and knowledge


Design excellence 

Design excellence is a term used to describe a variety of requirements intended to lift design quality. It is most commonly used in relation to a single building or development. The term usually refers to a competitive design process but has also come to describe the design quality of a final building or project.

As the design field comprises many disciplines (such as architecture, art and craft, industrial design, interior design, graphic design and public art), there are many ways to define ‘Design Excellence.’


In our practice, design excellence refers to high-quality design and is responded to the following criteria:


  • Overall aesthetics

  • How the design is interpreted

  • How the design is responded to sustainability

  • How the design is conceptualised through the human-centred design method

  • How the design is contributed or improved the quality of life/brand


We are passionate about design and hope our sustainable and human-centred design approaches could transform the way we live.  



BDA is committed to incorporating sustainability into our day-to-day operation and practice. These include how we could reduce the waste and carbon footprint in our daily operation and integrate sustainability into our practice, such as sustainable material and adaptive reuse. We understand in some cases, and sustainability may not be a feasible option for some of our clients due to budget constraints – that’s why we are committed to dedicating 3% of our profit towards carbon offsetting causes – to neutralise the effects of CO2 emissions.


We walk the talk by integrating the following practices into our design/work:


  • Consider waste, pollution, energy consumption, and health implications in the decision made throughout the design process

  • Follow the specific practices listed in the sustainable graphic/interior design guide and public art sustainability assessment for every project where possible and educate clients on the benefits of these practices to obtain greater uptake of ecological preferences per job.

  • Actively educate ourselves on environmental and social issues and practices through research and experience. We share our understanding of sustainability with you by listing some useful material and references on our website.  You are welcome to use this library for your research or business.


Human-centred design

The term human-centred design is common terminology architects use to describe a design process involving collaboration with the client. This idea is close to the concept of public engagement, where a ‘design’ (ranging from architecture to social practice) is conceptualised through collaboration between the designer and the end-user or the public.


Typically, there are six steps involved in the human-centred design process.

BLOK human centre flowchart.jpg

BDA considers human-centred design as a core design method in our practice and a positive way to achieve the best outcome for clients. This methodology is most commonly used in interior design and public art. In some cases, the method can also be used in graphic design.

For more information regarding the concept, see 

Scharoun, Lisa, Davey, Rachel, Cochrane, Tom, & Mews, Gregor (2019) Designing healthy futures: involving primary school children in the co-design of a health report card. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 7(4), pp. 237-255.


​Cultural awareness and knowledge

We are a multi-cultural and international team.  We have worked locally, nationally and in other parts of the world for many years. We have a wealth of experience working with various clients and artists from different ethnicities, including Indigenous, Asian, European and, American.

We are sensitive to cultural protocols and understand the codes of behaviour of particular cultural groups and methods of conducting business in different cultural contexts.

In our experience, we understand how cultural sensitivity and knowledge could help create meaningful work and engage with clients/artists/the public.

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