Sym Studio has embarked on partnerships with First Nations Cultural Curators and Designers in leading best practice whilst designing with culture in mind.

Sym Studio has formed new partnerships with First Nations Cultural Curators and Designers including;  The Gaimaragal Group – Susan Moylan-Coombs (Woolwonga, Gurindji Woman), Dennis Foley (Gai-mariagal and Wiradjuri Elder and Fulbright Scholar) and Saltwater Studios – Craig Kerslake (Wiradjuri Nation), all Supply Nation Certified.

Our shared commitment is to create impact and help facilitate opportunities for project value creation.

“Creating a new story of connection for all Australians.” 

Susan Moylan-Coombs (Woolwonga, Gurindji Woman),

The Gaimaragal Group

To mark the occasion and launch of the new partnership journey, we met at Irrawong Waterfall where we shared knowledge and discussed connecting with country and cultural design practices.

These partnerships are the platforms that will foster a cultural design process based in the deep knowledge of the local environment, culture and community.

With each project, we partner with Cultural Curators and Designers in facilitating conversations and knowledge sharing. This two-way cultural translation brings individuals, communities and businesses together, allowing us to incorporate these unique stories from the Original people and place into the planning, design and delivery of our projects.

We invite you to learn and develop with us – Designing with and in Country.


We acknowledge and respect all ancestral lands of Australia’s First Peoples.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

We acknowledge our local area, home residences and office location as part of Gai-mariagal clans, which today is known as Northern Sydney.

We appreciate the opportunity to co-create environments and more largely a nation that embrace First Nations Peoples’ history, culture and rights, for present and future generations.

Sym.Studio is an established landscape architecture and urban design practice with a profound appreciation for places and its people.

The Gaimaragal Group, Connecting People, Community and Business,

Saltwater Studio Architects


I N N O V A T I O N………Biophilic Design is more than just introducing more plants, it’s about our human need for connection to all of nature.

Inside Ageing lists some design opportunities for bringing Biophilic Design into Retirement Living:

Indirect experiences of nature, e.g.

  • artistic representations of nature
  • artificial sky
  • virtual reality systems that mimic fish ponds
  • thermal and airflow variability
  • the presence of water
  • lighting that mimics morning through to night

Direct visual connection to nature as well as direct access.

  • Rooms that look out into well designed courtyards or gardens
  • Community and lounge rooms with direct garden access.


  • smells that remind you of the outdoors

Material connection to nature

  • Use of natural materials such as timber and earthy colours

Actual living plants

  • Create a tangible nature connection
  • They also help clean the air, many can eliminate over 95 per cent of toxins (refer NASA clean air study)

Does your project, retirement or otherwise tick any of these boxes?

The importance of Biophilic Design: fact or fiction?



A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y…. AILA (Australian Institute of Landscape Architects) have declared a ‘Climate and Biodiversity loss Emergency’ acknowledging that humanity has just 12 years to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.. So what tangible steps can our industry take to combat climate change and how can we measure our impact against such a huge issue?

Our industry as well as urban designers, architects, engineers and planners have a huge opportunity and responsibility to help create a better future. A new resource/platform called Climate Positive Design lets designers register projects on a world map to accurately measure and track greenhouse emissions as well as carbon “sinks” to target when the landscape can become not just carbon neutral but climate positive!! (Meaning they capture/sequester more greenhouse emissions than they incorporate or produce! ) And each project has a dedicated page that can be re-visited overtime and re-evaluated or shared.

We can’t wait to start tracking our projects and see the results. If you’re in the industry – take a look at the app and let us know what you think! news