Breathing life into design

We are now in an era, where placemaking has never been more important. People are engaging more than ever with their urban environments. Connecting in different ways, and utilising spaces for more diverse and unique purposes. Our local centres are becoming a critical focus for this transition and how we will live, work and play in the future.

It takes a unique blend of people, knowledge and understanding to lead the design and creation of such centres. Which is why we are pleased to announce our new Directors Nick Ison and James Birrell, two design leaders working across projects in Queensland and New South Wales.

Nick and James are both exceptional Landscape Architects who have built a career on putting community first, engaging with locals to be able to transform open spaces into great places.

Place Design Group Chair, Ian Klug says, “As a business we push for innovation to shape the future and put people and culture at the heart of all we do. With this alignment in thinking, we are thrilled to appoint both Nick and James as Directors, to ensure our collaborative approach is strengthened across all facets of the business.”

Based in our Sydney office, Nick lives and breathes the collaborative approach, both with his team and his clients. “The success of a project is attributed to whole team involvement. We all strive for the best outcome, creating places that cater for everyone to enjoy and push each other from concept to creation.” says Nick.

James Birrell has a strong legacy on the Sunshine Coast, harnessing his local knowledge of where he grew up, and still resides, with his wisdom into the hardware and software of placemaking and urban activation. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to breathe life and meaning into our designs, by weaving culture, place and landscape together,” says James.

“Good design comes from the continual honing of ideas, skills and collaborative practice. With Nick and James leading the charge across our future centres and spaces, I’m confident we will continue to make places more vibrant, purposeful, and accessible,” says Beth Toon, CEO at Place Design Group.


Nick Ison



James Birrell