Our collective learning experience shapes our cultural and community focused projects. We consistently deliver value through design, benefiting clients competitively, strategically and creatively.

Design based research is: “a systematic but flexible methodology aimed to improve educational practices through iterative analysis, design, development, and implementation, based on collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings, and leading to contextually-sensitive design principles and theories. It is Pragmatic, Grounded, Interactive, iterative and flexible, Integrative, and Contextual”.
Wang, F. & Hannafin, Design-based research (2006)

At Smith + Tracey, we deeply value the lessons we are taught through our client relationships and strategic alliances, the shared learning we gain from our own people and the research we do. We make sure we capture and communicate this growing body of experience to all our team members so it becomes a centralized resource for everyone. Through design-based research, our found experiences and investigations create a unique collective of wisdom – our Knowledge Centre and Learning organization


“We are known for our commitment to excellent people centered design that nurtures and empowers its users and fosters a sense of belonging to the broader community

We want to be known for how we make a difference. We strive for a sustainable and humanitarian world through emotional engagement with the core elements we espouse: community, learning, caring and leadership. Smith + Tracey engages with the communities where we live and adds value through our projects. We provide creative responsive environments that support neighborhoods at a micro-level and are designed to connect to and contribute to the broader community.


‘One of the great things about our practice is that we probably are one of the pre-eminent church designers in Australia, especially after Vatican II and all the new churches were designed with a radical approach,’
Gerard Smith.

While we are part of the process, our buildings live within these changing and evolving communities for a long time after we have completed construction. The story of the design journey must start with the client’s mission and aspirations and evolve as part of a shared and responsive partnership.


The commercial reality of building comes from an intrinsic appreciation of development economics through a measured design approach that explores and delivers highly responsive functional outcomes. 

Future proofing inevitable cultural change requires flexible and adaptable solutions. We make a positive connection to a sustainable context and create a meaningful social contribution to the people who occupy or visit the built environment.


Through a meaningful relationship, the design journey for each project comes from a deep understanding of our client’s aspirations. 

From multi-residential development with a commercial focus to an individual’s personal space, the dialogue we have articulates the narrative for the design ideas. We enjoy exploring the connectivity of spatial arrangements and the shaping, sculpting and crafting of form and materiality to bring joy to the inhabitants.


“We learn a client’s needs, their wants, their cultural and societal context; help them understand the budgetary and regulatory constraints, imagine together what’s possible and what will be the most community engaging and sustainable options, and then explore solutions”

We provide creative sustainable and low maintenance responsive recreation and sport environments that support neighborhoods at a micro-level and are designed to connect to and contribute to the broader community.