Tag Archives: Architectural Practice

My new Studio!

Hi there,

I know things have been a bit quieter than usual here on the blog. There’s plenty of posts waiting patiently in the wings, ready for their time to shine! But they’ve been on the sidelines as a lot of fabulous new sustainable home designs are taking up my precious time!

You might have noticed on Social Media that I moved into a new studio a few months back. (It’s been hard not to share my love for this space!) Here’s a few pics:

Talina-Edwards-Architecture-Studio-Ballarat-3 Talina-Edwards-Architecture-Studio-Ballarat-2 Talina-Edwards-Architecture-Studio-Ballarat-1





It is a work in progress as I take time to set up.

I’m also on the lookout for a Studio-Buddy to share the space with me… so if you know of anyone who might be interested, please send them my way for more details!


Ballarat Sustainable Architect Green Builder



Is your architect a nerd?

Building Renovating Green Sustainable Eco House Home

Is your architect a nerd?

Um, yes I am.

Are all architects nerds? Err, pretty much. You see, we need to be. Buildings are very complex things, and Architecture is more than just building… so we kind of have to be really, really, into what we do, as there’s a lot to learn! In no particular order: Design, Construction, Planning, Heritage, Bushfire, Sustainability, Affordability, Services, Trends, Ethics, Permits, Philosophy, Landscape, Aesthetics, Interiors, Plans, Sketches, 3D models, Specifications, Feasibilities …. and so on. These are just some of the daily tasks/considerations that we tackle on the job. (I’ve written about this before. See What Does An Architect Do? )

Did you know… Continue reading

What does an architect DO?

Building Plans Renovations House Extension Ballarat

So, what exactly does an architect do? Contrary to popular belief, architects do a lot more than just ‘draw plans’. We specialise in design and in getting to know you and listening to your requirements, so we can provide a high quality service to help you navigate the complex building process, and create a solution specifically for you. We are here to help guide you through your designing/planning/building journey, so you can live in a beautiful home that won’t cost the earth!

After working closely with you to establish your brief (and asking lots of questions about your lifestyle) and assessing opportunities and constraints of the site, architectural design is the collaborative process of creating a site-specific,  individual solution which best meets your particular requirements and vision. Design is a juggling act of budget, construction techniques, material selections, building regulations, town-planning requirements, secondary consultants’ input, energy-efficiency considerations and sustainability, heritage and cultural context, consideration of neighbours and community relations, form and function, shelter and comfort, practicality, convenience, flexibility, connection with the external environment and landscape, light and shade, services, safety, beauty and delight… plus more! Continue reading

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!



Do what you love, make money, and save the world. #BHB2014

Wow! What a weekend I’ve just had. I’ve just attended Clare Bowditch‘s AWESOME Big Hearted Business (un-)conference for the second year…and to think that both times I almost didn’t go! Last year I wasn’t sure that I (or my new business) was “creative” enough, until I kept getting signs front the universe that indeed I was and I was meant to be there…and if it wasn’t for last year’s event…this blog would not have been born (read more here), and I might never have started my own architectural practice. This year I honestly thought that as I’d had my turn last time, it was now time for someone else to have a go, as there were limited tickets. However when they initially announced that it was not sold-out, a friend’s grandmother’s wise words would not leave my head…”What’s for you will not pass you by“, and I jumped and bought a ticket for this year’s event. BEST. DECISION. EVER. (Twice now!)

Talina-Edwards- #BHB2014 Clare-Bowditch-

The inspiring, generous, loving Clare Bowditch – the brains (left and right!) behind this whole shebang!

Talina-Edwards- #BHB2014 -panel- Danielle-Laporte Joost Beci-Orpin

What AMAZING speakers! Clare with Danielle LaPorte, Joost Bakker and Beci Orpin.

I went along last weekend trying NOT to have any expectations…but that is very difficult when the inaugural event was such a life-changing moment for me (and everyone else there!)…does the sequel EVER live up to the original? Not usually…but thankfully I was wrong. This year’s BHB was every bit as inspiring, motivating, engaging, encouraging, emotional, funny, educational, connecting, etc., as the first, but more importantly for me, it was a very timely reminder of just how far I’ve come on my journey this last year, and it reaffirmed that I’m on my right path.

My head and my heart are so full after the weekend, so I cannot give justice in this one post to the all the words of wisdom by trying to summarise them now. (I might go into some more detail in future posts). But the real secret (SHHHHHH!) of the Big Hearted Business (un-)conference is that it is NOT really about “business” at all! The essence of whole event, is that it is really about life, happiness & fun, dreams & goals, values & purpose, ethics & truth, emotional wellbeing and not just a focus on finance, ….sounds pretty good, huh?! “Do what you love, make money, and save the world” is their tagline. And really, this stuff should be taught in schools, to everyone, everywhere! How many business conferences do you know where you get to laugh and cry, sing and do “bo-ga” (Bogan-yoga), meditate, and hug your frentors? (No “schnetworking” here people!).


Do what you love, make money, save the world! Gorgeous lettering by BHB alumni Carla Hackett

Do what you love, make money, save the world! Gorgeous lettering by BHB alumni Carla Hackett

Talina-Edwards- #BHB2014 -Showbag Big hearted business

Big-hearted goody-bag!

Talina-Edwards #BHB2014 giving tree share the love

Such a gorgeous idea – The Giving Tree. Sharing the love by sharing some skills – creative bartering at its best.

Talina-Edwards #BHB2014-Clare Bowditch sings Amazing Life

Clare brings the room to tears by singing “Amazing Life

Talina-Edwards #BHB2014 mindmap notes #BHBnotes

An attempt to organise my thoughts (and pages of notes!) with a mind map.

So what does this all have to do with my business as an architect with a passion for green buildings, sustainable design and healthy homes? Well, it’s confirmed that for me to be creating my sustainable architectural practice in a non-mainstream way, and on my own terms, is not only “acceptable”, it is absolutely VITAL. Want to why I became and Architect? See here. And what about my philosophy? Try here.

The speakers that I engaged with the most, were the ones who were able to tell their story in such a simple authentic way –  pure communication that made their message appear SO SIMPLE, made it FEEL SO RIGHT. That is part of my vision, to tell “elemental” truths, to practice “elemental” design, and to lead by example like these inspiring big-hearted people do….and I’ve just figured out WHY these speakers such as Joost Bakker, Danielle La Porte, Fabian Dattner, Pip Lincolne, Missy Higgins & more were so able to connect with their audience on this level. They have such a strong belief in themselves and why they do what they do, that we instinctively want a piece of the action too!  We all over complicate things and have lost touch with what really matters. But things are changing. Revolution is a BIG word, and not one I’d use lightly, but if you were there on the weekend you’d feel it too….watch this space and look out for the rise of these big-hearted businesses!


PS A huge THANK YOU to Clare Bowditch and the Big-Hearted-Business team and to ALL the big-hearted attendees who are now part of my tribe…If you’d like to read more about the conference from others who were there, I highly encourage you to check out these blogs and support these amazing folk!

Pip Lincoln from “Meet Me At Mikes” http://meetmeatmikes.com/2014/05/stuff-i-learned-on-the-weekend/

Dorothy K http://www.dorothyk.com.au/big-hearted-business

Martine (Vintage Prints) http://viewsfromtheredbrickroad.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/deciding-to-rise/

Helen Edwards – no relation to me! (Recycled Interiors) http://recycledinteriors.org/2014/05/07/big-hearted-business-conference-2014-good-fail-happy-dance-feeling-way/

Amanda Dziedzic (Glass-blowing artist) http://littlebirdbigchip.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/big-hearted-business-and-my-crush-on.html

Amy Feldtmann http://amyfeldtmann.com/2014/05/03/big-hearted-pearls-of-wisom-bhb2014/

Tahlee Rouillon (The Attitude Revolution) http://attituderevolution.net/big-hearted-weekend/

Selina Braine (I Can Draw) http://icandrawwithselina.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/the-bhb-un-conference-has-brought-me-here-what-a-weekend/

Rebecca Jee http://rebeccajee.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/big-hearted-business-unconference-part-1.html http://rebeccajee.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/bhb-unconference-part-2-keywords.html

Lisa Miller (Multiples of Two) http://multiplesoftwo.com/you/big-hearted-business-unconference-2014/

Always Josefa http://www.alwaysjosefa.com/pieces-of-me/big-hearted-business-2014/

Gill Stannard (Naturopath, Health and Happiness coach) http://gillstannard.com.au/2014/05/13/what-missy-higgins-knows-about-wellness/

Kat McNally http://www.katmcnally.com/2014/05/rearranged.html


 Sign up for Talina Edwards Architecture’s monthly newsletter HERE, to be kept up to date with all things sustainable design, green building and healthy homes. You’ll also receive your FREE guide “Do I need an Architect?”

What do YOU think? We love your comments and questions, so please don’t be shy! Comment below x