our design process

At Brackish, we take on projects that we believe in; projects that will make a positive contribution to our communities and environment. We take the time to develop thoughtful design solutions and a high standard of work that endures the test of time, and improves the quality of life for those that use it.


Each design begins with the site. We start each project by understanding what makes the site unique. Thorough research is the foundation of our work, where we gain an in-depth understanding of the site’s ecological, social, and historical context.


From research and analysis emerges a conceptual framework that remains a guiding force from the beginning to end of a project. Our aim is to preserve the elements that make a place special, and enhance them through interventions that blend our client’s needs with the opportunities inherent in each site. This is all accomplished in a sensitive, sustainable approach, which is above all guided by the land.


Design is a collaborative process. Matthew and Sandra routinely work with architects, engineers, and other professionals, and firmly believe that in order to provide the greatest value to any project, our studio should be involved from the earliest stages. We see our clients as collaborative partners as well; the most successful projects result from a relationship where our client is open to new thinking about their site or building, and where the design team is open to the client’s vision and feedback. This is true whether our client is a private residential property owner, a municipality, institution, or a community group.


Small details matter. We take pride in developing custom quality details that are beautiful, buildable, and unique to the broader design concept. Through their work, Matthew and Sandra have routinely employed local materials and developed working relationships with local suppliers, craftspeople, and contractors, to ensure that the design vision is realized in the final built product.