Over the past several years Kieran and I have used 4 words to help guide our decisions around work and communicate our core values – joyfulness, generosity, usefulness and stealthiness. We use these within our studio when we talk about an approach to design and we use these when we talk about how we want our practice to engage with others.
Moving from our “dining-table-practice” set-up when we left university 20 years ago to becoming a medium size practice doing public and community work has been a fantastic challenge and a spectacular learning experience. We have described this journey as moving from CODA 1.0 through to our current version 4.0!
We have grabbed every opportunity that presented itself and fought to find opportunities where none seemed to exist. You could say we have been restless in our desire to keep moving forward and finding new avenues to work and create. In all of these years there has never been a moment where we have felt as though we have “made-it”, but we have been really grateful for all of our opportunities and the steep learning curve that comes from striking out on your own.
20 years has made us nostalgic, it’s made us thankful to be part of a studio that has attracted and been the beneficiary of so many fantastic minds and it has made us think carefully about what we want CODA 5.0 to look like.
We want to continue to work on projects that are complex, engaging and useful to many. We want to continue to develop an inclusive and diverse practice culture that gives every person in our studio the ability to develop to their full potential. To take these aspirations to the next level we decided we needed to be a different kind of practice.
So, CODA 5.0 looks very different. After 20 years of steady growth we are excited about the next chapter and our decision to merge with COX Architecture. Kieran and I will take on roles as directors and all our staff will join us on the adventure.
By merging with COX Architecture, we have a real opportunity to get stuck into larger, and more complex work and to continue our interest in developing practice culture. The Perth studio of COX has the DNA of two significant West Australian firms, Howlett & Bailey and Forbes & Fitzhardinge Woodland in its make up – with an unprecedented portfolio of exemplary public work across the state and internationally. We have shared values and a shared passion for design. By becoming part of an international practice, we can truly engage in multi-faceted conversations about place and consider how architects can positively affect cities and places everywhere.
For 20 years Kieran and I have enjoyed working toward our shared vision of growing our practice and making an impact. We are excited about broadening this conversation and collaborating with our fellow Perth directors Steve, Greg, Mark, Bret, Matt and Fernando as well as other directors nationally.
Our core values: to be joyful, to be generous, to be useful and to be stealthy come with us. As of July 1, CODA will become COX – I guess you could argue that this is the ultimate stealthy move – we get to keep half the letters of our name!