Responsible Design

We are committed to creating design solutions that aim for best practice and support social and environmental sustainability.

As part of the built environment industry, we see a great responsibility to be stewards of the environment and positively shape the world around us with the work that we do. We acknowledge:

  • That the building industry contributes 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and as such, we have a responsibility to practice in ways to reduce this. 

  • The impact construction has on natural habitats and ecosystems.

  • That on average, projects within the field of Interior Design have shorter life spans than architecture projects, and subsequently, significant waste and carbon emissions are produced as a direct result of this.

However, we also see great opportunity in the work that we do to:  

  • Design spaces that take a sensitive environmental approach and celebrate the significance of place. 

  • Design environments that nurture better lifestyles and support health and well-being.


  • Take an existing shell and breathe new life into spaces showing the layers of time and change. Respecting and reusing the old while preserving culture and community.


To do this, our studio takes a number of steps:


We research to understand the relationship between people and their environment and implement progressive design practices. 

We work to reduce the carbon footprint of our practice and believe in regenerating our ecosystems and communities. We do this by offsetting our Carbon Footprint for the year through a commitment to GreenFleet’s ‘365 Carbon Cover’* scheme.

We aim to support communities, contributing to environments that are inclusive, respectful of culture, and facilitate people coming together.


We focus on the local context of the site, the people, and the community to produce local-based design solutions ensuring that our response continues the regional architectural vernacular.

You can read about our Design Philosophy here.

* GreenFleet plan native biodiverse forests in Australia to address critical deforestation, capture carbon emissions to protect our climate, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and restore habitat for wildlife, including many endangered species.

Responsible Design Strategies

The way we implement responsible design practice varies depending on the scale and type of project. Where possible, we aim to approach our project with the following strategies:

Passive Design

Design in a way that prioritizes climate, orientation, and geographical context of site to maximise on daylight, natural ventilation, and solar energy.

Harvesting from the Site

Use the site’s natural resources by installing solar panels, rainwater tanks, and by using greywater.


Encourage smaller building footprints, the functionality of design over aesthetics, and minimal waste. 

Reduce Waste

Design for minimal waste during demolition and construction stages.

Preservation and Regeneration

Preserve and regenerate the natural environment, built environment, and/or communities where possible.

Resource Efficiency

Specify water and energy-efficient fittings and appliances, where possible.

Design for Longevity

Ensure design is durable to withstand wear and tear. The design should also be timeless so that it is relatable and functional throughout its lifespan. 

Sustainable Materials

Specify materials made from renewable sources or if synthetic, ensure the source is made from recycled content. All materials specified should have a low embodied energy.

Local Resources

Source Australian-made or locally-made materials and products where possible to reduce carbon footprint and support local communities.


Specify products that are non-toxic or that have a low-toxicity and do not harm the environment or humans in production, use, or demolition.

Design for Wellbeing

Design safe and healthy environments for those who build, occupy, or work in them.  

Universal Design

Design in accordance with the Australian Standards (or equivalent) and design for equality, diversity, and inclusivity.

Design for Change

Design solutions that are adaptable, flexible or mobile to allow for future growth and change.

Sustainable Behaviours

Share knowledge of sustainable practices and behaviours with clients and consultants. 

We are a Sydney-based interior architecture and design studio designing environments for people and place.

Cornerstore Design Studio

ABN 84 362 514 061

1/2 Kensington Street, Waterloo, NSW 2017

​All images and content © Cornerstore Design Studio, 2020


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