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POMO Studio, Sunshine Coast

What We Do and How We Do It

We provide a totally unique end to end bespoke urban placemaking service. A methodology and process developed by us that allows us to partner with people designing urban environments to inject a detailed level of meaning and creativity into their projects. We recognise that this pursuit is often aspirational - landscape and urban projects often miss this level of detail. This is what POMO provides.

We research, engage, report and carry out all phases of design and project delivery - a unique beginning to end methodology. A process also flexible enough to mould to the demands and budgets of any public realm urban design project.

We have a seven step process that ensures we can work alongside you to help create meaningful, detailed, creative urban experiences.

  1. Research. We begin by conducting research into the place in which the works are being undertaken. This research helps us to identify the hidden narratives, cultural histories and character traits of the place.

  2. Community engagement. Running parallel to step one, we ideally have a community engagement process underway which allows us to connect to locals in a one on one capacity. Learning about the place from the locals who have lived there for many years often unlocks some of the most powerful, funny or just plain memorable stories.

  3. Sift and Sort. We sift and sort through the information gathered in steps one and two and assemble a report that identifies the themes of the place. We also connect those themes to a design language which expresses the uniqueness of the place. That design language informs our next step.

  4. Design. Our design process begins at a conceptual/schematic level. Here we are working with our project partners such as the Landscape Architects, Architects and others. We are focusing on the opportunities and locations for place-driven ideas to manifest themselves. Often these opportunities are artistic and involve working with artists to create things that help tell the story of the place. In other cases the opportunities are more pragmatic meaning we look to express the narratives through items in the public domain that would otherwise be ordered “off the shelf”. Much of what we design crosses over between industrial design, public art and urban design.

  5. Documentation. We carry our designs through all stages of documentation from schematic through to detailed including engineering review. Often our documents are issued for tender or issued for construction.

  6. Construction. We work with a wide range of creatives, artists, makers and tradespeople all of whom are picked due to their commitment to helping us to deliver the detailed, bespoke and highly creative outcomes we demand. Working with our expanded team means we can enhance the outcomes through the delivery phase by paying attention to every detail and ensuring changes that occur don’t compromise the vision. We often find ourselves working collaboratively with our clients at this stage to help shape and mould the outcomes.

  7. Delivery. The delivery of the project unfolds working onsite with the principal contractor. We generally manage the construction and delivery of everything we design so we can ensure our clients receive the one-off creative outcomes they are seeking.

Why We Do What We Do

We believe that creative outcomes in the public realm help make better places for us all. Places that are more connected to the environment and the culture in which they exist. Too many ‘off the shelf’ solutions infest our public places creating homogeneous places that suffer from what’s been called “placelessness”.

We recognise that the process of delivering creative outcomes that speak to and express the spirit of the place is often a difficult one. Curating and delivering public art is often complex and time consuming. Designing bespoke objects and experiences is often costly and sits outside of the scope of projects which are driven by deadlines and tight budgets.

We’re able to bring fine grained artist/designer created outcomes into projects without the typical constraints. We’re also able to curate bespoke outcomes in ways which tie in with typical timelines and budgets. We do this because we believe that our communities deserve places that are creative, unique, respond to the aspirations of the community and sit within the cultural and historical context of the areas in which they exist.

By partnering with landscape architects and other urban design professionals we focus on designing and delivering outcomes which are completely unique and deeply connected to place.

We do what we do because we believe that our public places are the foundations of more inclusive, aware and responsible societies.


Our projects have earned awards such as the Australia Institute of Landscape Architects 2018 Gold National Civic Design Award. In that same year our project also won the Civic Design Award of Excellence at the Queensland AILA awards. The project that won those awards you can read about here.

Other awards include gold and bronze at the international W3 awards.

The design of our POMO studio (which you can read about here) won the Most Sustainable Commercial Building Design Award (Sunshine Coast) at the 2015 at the BDAQ design awards. It went on to be judged by Kevin Mcleod for the national sustainability award later that year.

Stephen Burton
Founder + Design Director

Stephen is founder and design director of POMO having started the business in the late 90’s. Stephen has evolved the practice by focusing not just on the design of ‘things’ but on the design of experiences, in particular the process of generating connections between people and physical places. This has led to a focus on design and delivery projects that have a placemaking focus.

Stephen has an undergraduate degree in Arts (Media and Culture) and Law (Hons) and postgraduate qualifications in Urban Design and Planning. He has also studied Art History & Theory.

Senior Designer

John holds a Bachelor of the Built Environment (Architectural Studies) and a Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts (Graphic Design). John is a senior designer with a unique skill set that spans graphic, environmental and built environment design.

John’s background in architecture means he understands the built environment and how people experience spaces.

Digital Developer

Nathan works to translate design into practice, using a logical approach to define the hidden structure and foundation of a digital project, working on the parts you don’t see in order to ensure the stability and usability of the parts you do.

He enjoys problem solving, regularly challenging himself with difficult puzzles and practicing logical thinking, his work consists of looking at the goals and expectations of a digital project, defining an efficient way to meet those criteria and then implementing it.

Nathan has a Certificate IV in Website Design and Development and a Bachelor of Interactive Media at QUT.



National Landscape Architecture Awards 2018
Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards 2018
Building Designers Association of Queensland inc 2014 State Winner
W3 2017 Gold Winner

View our projects