Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich

Richards Stanisich

Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, Directors of Sydney-based studio Richards Stanisich, practice with a prioritisation of wellbeing and a deep understanding of the sensory human experience of space. The pair (both of whom are designers and architects) established their studio in 2017 after having worked together for over a decade as the Directors and Partners of SJB Interiors NSW. “We rebranded our team to Richards Stanisich to distinguish our design ethos,” they explain.

They work across multiple sectors including hospitality, single and multiple residential, large-scale retail, corporate lobbies and office spaces – always with mind to countering the detachment and narcissism that can characterise our digital age. Their attention to wellbeing is channelled through the exploration of natural materials, textures, spatial volumes, context and detail. The pursuit of sustainability, retention and longevity is critical to their practice. “We consciously think beyond current trends to avoid short lifespans,” they say.

Always, Jonathan and Kirsten are driven by the potential for design to develop outcomes that benefit not only their clients but also the greater community. They explain, “Recently we have been investigating the ways in which design can wake us up to alternative viewpoints on colonisation and allow the expression of first peoples, and how this can be implemented in a commercial context. We need to have conversations with the right people to ensure that projects are respectful to the land and those that have a relationship with it.”

Contribution to the industry has also been consistent through their practice, with Kirsten holding roles in the Design Institute of Australia and both Directors chairing and participating in industry award panels over the years. Fortnightly seminars from guests in the studio cover numerous topics from regulation, planning, buildability, materials and methodology. Richards Stanisich designs with a communal spirit and similarly, the Directors believe contribution to the industry is essential.

Photography of Kirsten Stanisich and Jonathan Richards by Katie Kaars, The Buena (2016) by Felix Forest, A Private Home (2016) by Anson Smart, Beach House (2017) by Felix Forest, 12 Micron (2017) by Felix Forest, and Rigg Design Prize (2018) by Felix Forest.