Our mission is to create responsible and beautiful design.

What is Responsible and Beautiful Design?

We recognise that notions of beauty and responsibility are both subjective and contingent. Rather than ignore things which are hard to define, we‘ve taken time to identify nine ideas which personify these concepts for us. We use these ideas to qualify whether our projects are meeting our mission and, if not, where we see room for improvement. These nine ideas are in no particular order and we don’t expect them all to be present in every project. We do however welcome engagement with the ideas here and would love to hear from you if they spark ideas.


We create spaces that evoke emotions. Emotions strengthen the experience of a space, whether it is a home or a community centre. By carefully planning daylight, studying the juxtaposition of narrow and wide spaces, and crafting the building section to play with headroom and height, we enhance the experience of living or visiting – and encourage feelings of joy and delight. Emotive spaces can be both calm and soothing, or surprising and delightful.

Hampstead Colours living room


We create harmony though design, and believe a balanced composition can be both calming and pleasant. By expressing grids, aligning textures, and considering tonal colours, we create a pleasingly consistent whole. Materials, colours and spaces are in balance with each other and the surroundings. Harmonious buildings and spaces appear contextual, balanced and timeless.


We recognise that considered design and detailing goes beyond technically correct and well resolved. Effort is legible both in the overall design moves and layouts, and in the finer details that are decided upon with care. Highly refined detailing, whether it is around exposed structure, handle details or precision in meetings between different materials, show the care, thought and effort invested.

Promotes Wellbeing

We know that buildings can support both physical and mental health and wellbeing. Non toxic materials and optimised air quality, lighting that are in line with circadian rhythms and the ability to control both sound and temperature, are part of creating an environment where people thrive. We create comfortable and nurturing spaces by sensitively considering how people use buildings and applying biophilic design principles.

Connected to Nature

We recognise the importance of natural environments to our health and wellbeing at the most fundamental level. We’ll look to restore the natural environments we’re working with, and provide generous access to nature for the people inhabiting our buildings and projects. We therefore aim to enhance the project site biodiversity compared to pre-project levels and will encourage the use of natural or bio-based materials.


We welcome engagement throughout the design process and understand that our buildings will be better suited to their locality where local communities are involved in their design. For public facing projects we’ll go beyond planning requirements and always strive to invite a wide group of stakeholders to the table for meaningful consultation and partnership throughout our projects.

Low Carbon

We recognise the challenges of a diminishing carbon budget and  advocate for low carbon construction across all of our projects. We encourage your engagement with these issues and are always keen to collaborate with clients and the wider team on meeting ambitious targets. Where possible we’ll calculate the whole life carbon of each design, and target net zero whole life carbon for both our newbuild and retrofit projects.


We’re committed to supporting people and the planet, and therefore investigate the ethical issues surrounding all of our projects. When we uncover opportunities to create positive change we’ll speak to you about the decisions within your control and encourage you to support ethical suppliers and supply chains. We’ll always explore locally available materials, and look at opportunities to retrofit rather than demolish existing buildings.


We know that returning to our projects leads to better outcomes for our clients and our practice. This simple step can help you better enjoy your finished building and supports continuous learning in our practice. Whilst not widely exercised Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) and Building performance evaluation (BPE) are both well understood frameworks we follow. We’ve created templates which can make this process both affordable and impactful. Where permitted we’ll share this learning and data with the industry and other building owners.

Let’s have a chat about your vision and
how we can help you realise it.

Collective Works are an architecture & design studio. Our network of professionals will create your perfect solution.