About us

designTRIBE was formed as a collaborative architectural design practice in 1994 from the community design initiatives and projects undertaken as part of the University of Auckland Architecture School Community Design Studio. Our intention was at that time, and remains to be to provide Māori and wider community groups with access to high quality architectural services.

designTRIBE has since specialized in the design of kaupapa Māori, as well as mainstream educational facilities with significant experience in projects ranging from early childhood centres / kōhanga reo through to tertiary facilities, community, and residential facilities.

designTRIBE architects are a limited liability company registered as designTRIBE Limited and is a registered practice with the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

designTRIBE is committed to providing the best outcome for our clients requirements and budgets together with a commitment to sustainability, green products and procedures.


Our design approach relates closely to understanding the needs and aspirations of our clients and discussing creative solutions. These ideas are explored by listening, discussing and then tailoring designs accordingly.

As a design philosophy, designTRIBE focuses closely on ways of working with the natural environment to enhance cultural and environmental connection to place. Such a focus includes a specific emphasis on client based planning principles, buildings that are eminently fit for purpose, and the use of sustainable design principles, materials and energy sources.

We aim to provide both a personal and professional approach to consultation and design.

Environmental sustainability is central to our design methodology and our commitment to kaitiakitanga of our natural environment is central to our design process. We have a proven track record in integrating key sustainable technologies into many of our projects and are committed to ensuring that our projects are relevant for future generations.

We strive to build and maintain strong working relationships with our clients accepting the need to go the extra mile to ensure a good final result for all parties.