Guided by Traditional Knowledges and Aboriginal ways of being, knowing and doing

Babana Djurumin Design was launched by three siblings descended from the Budawang tribe of the Yuin nation on the South Coast of New South Wales with designer backgrounds including architecture, spatial and landscape. As cultural design adviers, we use Indigenous principles and methodologies in our work ensuring respectful methods of acknowledging the diversity and richness of Aboriginal communities. Our work includes projects in architecture, spatial design, landscape design, spatial storytelling and art design. Values that underpin our work include reciprocity, cultural sustainability and Indigenous agency.

Our name, Babana Djurumin, comes from the Dharug language from around the Sydney area. It means ‘Brother Sister’, to reflect our familial foundation. Our Dharug Elders have authorised us to use this name.

Danièle Hromek

Danièle is a spatial designer and artist, fusing design elements with installations and sculptural form. Her work derives from her cultural and experiential heritage, often considering the urban Aboriginal condition, the Indigenous experience of Country, and contemporary Indigenous identities. Danièle is a lecturer and researcher considering how to Indigenise the built environment by creating spaces to substantially affect Indigenous rights and culture within an institution. Danièle’s research contributes an understanding of the Indigenous experience and comprehension of space, and investigates how Aboriginal people occupy, use, narrate, sense, Dream and contest their spaces. It rethinks the values that inform Aboriginal understandings of space through Indigenous spatial knowledge and cultural practice; in doing so, it considers the sustainability of Indigenous cultures from a spatial perspective.

Siân Hromek

Born in Byron Bay NSW, Siân grew up with a curiosity for the environment and how humans interact with it. This led to study a range of interests from Horticulture to Conservation Land Management and Landscape Architecture. A Bachelor of Environmental Design majoring in Sustainable Design at Griffith University on the Gold Coast has provided Siân a suite of transferable design and planning based skills. Current work with the Firesticks program based in the Northern Rivers in NSW involves working with a range of partners to apply Indigenous and contemporary fire management practices to Country to enhance biodiversity, connectivity and create social and ecologically resilient landscapes. Siân’s vision is to work with communities to bring together contemporary land management and design with Indigenous knowledge and culture with the aim to enhance biodiversity and connectivity and to create social and ecologically resilient landscapes.

Michael Hromek

Michael has a range of specialisations in the broad area of design, theory and architecture. These include the nature of design and its role towards society, and the relationships between theory and practice in planning, society and the city. Michael is currently doing a PhD at the University of Technology Sydney and teaches in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture covering architectural design and history and theory subjects. His thesis focuses on the idea the urban indigenous community in Redfern and questions, what are the values that constitute this community? How do they differ from what might be considered ‘traditional’ indigenous values? How have they been altered by inner city processes? How might the proposed future development of The Block contain these values? His other research interests surround the idea of contemporary indigenous identity and how it might be formalised through built form.