Here Together, We Are Home

In partnership with the local Council, the ‘One Community Together’ collaborative community change project approached our studio to discuss signage ideas to welcome people to ‘Clarence Plains.’ Historically, the area which encompasses four suburbs is one of the most disadvantaged in our state, consisting largely of public housing, high crime rates, and a reputation for burnt-out cars and disenfranchised youth.



Practice Area


One Community Together


The Challenge

Undoubtedly the key challenge was for us to deliver a work that would have impact over a large area, with an incredibly tight budget. Making anything permanent outdoors in public space requires many considerations, including regulatory constraints.

Project Vision

Community members had identified that there needed to be greater respect for the place; this project was a part of this strategy. Another strategy was to return the area to its colonial name (Clarence Plains) specifically to draw attention away from the suburbs burdened by years of bad press.

Making and road side view of ’TOGETHER’.

Samuel Shelley

Sample of the alphabet, marking out the dot locations.

Samuel Shelley

Gabion prior to rock fill, and component detail.

Samuel Shelley

’R’ and ’HERE’ completed.

Samuel Shelley

Design + Execution

By creating a system that uses an off-the-shelf gridded mesh, and ordering thousands of extra DeDots, we’ve set the local community up with a replicable design. There are plans already to install a further two words, using the typographical alphabet and words gathered during the engagement phase. The work gives scope to exist in external installations with this physical system. It can also be used as a graphic system for merchandise, collateral, and promotional material, giving Clarence Plains a distinct, confident visual voice. The design process was a continuous circle; a technique would be found, investigated, ruled out. This happened multiple times before the final design solution was reached.

Community celebration.

Samuel Shelley

’WELCOME’ seen just before ’HOME’ on way into the area.

Samuel Shelley

’WELCOME’ ’TOGETHER’ demonstrating diagonal set out.

Samuel Shelley

Matt Scott, MTS Films
Project Details
This project provides a beautiful symbolism of community engagement and collaboration, all weaved with the design element that beautifully captures the place's essence with the welcoming artwork.
Juror 1
I appreciated the community engagement process as well as the curatorial and design guidance from the designers. The result is a powerful and inclusive message, made with the local landscape and grounded within it. The color and typography are bold and legible, yet do not outshout the surroundings.
Juror 2
I really appreciate the thoughtful approach the team took to first find the right messages that speak to the community and then turning them into a durable strong design that exemplifies the grid and playfulness of the area. If I had to choose single words to describe this piece it would be: Thoughtfulness and unity (both in design and approach).
Juror 3
Design Team



Karen Larsen

Photo Credits

Samuel Shelley (photography)
Matt Scott, MTS Films (videography)

Open Date

December 2019