Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design philosophy

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions, and this post hopes to answer some questions we are often asked: “So what sort of architecture do you do?” and”What sort of ‘sustainable’ design do you do?” 

For out latest blog post, we wanted to share with you our philosophies…regarding design, sustainability and our services. Our philosophy does occupy a permanent page on our website here, but we wanted to dedicate a post to it. The thing is that behind the scenes we can reveal that we’ve been busy writing and designing a new guide, especially for you, which will be ready for launching soon… and whilst working on that, it’s been a really good reminder to revisit WHY we do what we do.

These philosophies have been developed over many, many, many years! In fact the foundations of my ethos emerged in early childhood when my love of architecture and nature first began. They were really cemented during my university years, and especially with my architectural thesis, “e[co] healing retreat” (which you can see here – scroll down toward the bottom of the gallery), which was about all of these same ideas. Since graduation, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in practices where they shared a similar view. When I started my own practice, and I was chatting with my graphic designer about my “brand” it was pretty evident which direction to take  based on these philosophies…you’ll see how that works in the image of my logo below! So far, I’ve been very fortunate to be working with some amazing clients who are absolutely on the same wavelength, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the result of my theories being put into practice! So watch this space…

The other thing to remember, is that sustainable design is NOT a style. My philosophies are more like a set of guiding principles that can result in very different outcomes for each client. Each project has a unique site and existing conditions, specific client requirements, different priorities  with regards to quality/timing/budget, and different regulatory controls (planning/building permits) etc… This is why the “one-size-fits-all” approach of mass-produced spec-homes doesn’t fit with my philosophy…

Our Elemental Design Philosophy

“Elemental” design for us is about the fundamental elements of our lives… we need food, water, air and shelter for survival. For the first three, it is preferable these should be as fresh and pure as possible; un-contaminated and un-polluted, for our health and wellbeing. We believe “shelter” and comfort (or “home”) is just as important, and it too should be comfortable, healthy, and not cause pollution (or depletion of our earth’s resources) in its day-to-day operation, its construction or in the manufacturing of its components. Ancient Chinese philosophy talks about the five elements in terms of earth, air, water, wood and fire… and these are inextricably linked to our sustainable design philosophy. We also believe there is a fifth element needed for survival beyond just food/water/air/shelter….   “love” (connection/care/compassion). Without love for others, love for our planet, love of what we do, what is the point? At Talina Edwards Architecture, we LOVE what we do…. and we care about helping you get your ‘elemental shelter’ (sustainable home) that won’t cost the earth…



Our Sustainable Design Philosophy

Our sustainable design philosophy is a holistic approach:

Environmental sustainability: wellbeing of the planet (solar passive design, responsible use of resources, energy-efficient, honest materials, minimal waste, positive relationship between built environment and natural environment)

Social sustainability: wellbeing of occupants (health, comfort, natural light, fresh air, quality of life) and also positive contribution to the community

Economic sustainability: wellbeing of the wallet (economical design) and sensible solutions that will help reduce running costs over the building’s life span, with smart choices for future flexibility

The practice also addresses the functional, physical, and aesthetic requirements for each client. We believe the best design solutions come from a collaborative approach, with a close client-architect relationship throughout your project.


Our Services Philosophy

At Talina Edwards Architecture, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, professional architectural services, that are delivered in a friendly, down-to-earth way. We understand that the building process is a big deal, so want to make sure it is as easy as possible for you to enjoy the journey with minimal stress. We are here to listen to your needs and wants, and to help guide you on your dream-home journey, as a collaborative process. Find out what some of our happy customers are saying here.


Do you share a similar philosophy/ethos? I’ve love to hear about it in the comments below!

We’ll aim to answer more questions about sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes, also with reference to our local climate (Regional Ballarat area and Melbourne) in future posts. Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (over there on the top right-hand side of this page) so you won’t miss out on our posts!





  1. manquebrock on May 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    What I love is that I get to see you live and breathe your elemental philosophy- it is very inspiring Talina! x

  2. romy sai on June 4, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Talina this is beautiful. I love love your graphic; what an inspired way to communicate your vision..

    • Talina Edwards Architecture on June 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Romy! My graphic designer was (is!) awesome – she was able to take what was in my head and come up with the perfect graphic :o)