Meet the team

We are a small team but we are dedicated.

John McMillan

Founder and Principal Designer

Shanae Crockett

Designer and Architectural Technician

Alex Heijdenrijk

Designer and Architectural Technician

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Shanae is a 2019 graduate of the Diploma of Architectural Technology offered by the Wellington Institute of Technology. She began working with balancedesign at the end of 2019 and has become our working drawing powerhouse, as well as organizational specialist. Shanae’s had an ambitious early start to the world of Architecture, moving from a small town in the Bay of Plenty to Wellington as a young adult, and graduating two years later among the top of her class. Shanae’s specialties are her exceptional drawing skills as well as a fantastic and constantly developing operational knowledge of the building code and industry. She’s also taken on several tangential skills including web development and office management! Her personal interests tend towards clever design work, a skill she’s excited to develop and hone. Shanae’s got her eyes set on a long career in the industry, and is currently working towards her Building Practitioner’s License where she intends to continue working in the residential sphere. In the meantime however, she’s a valuable member of the balancedesign team.


Alex is a 2020 graduate of the Diploma of Architectural Technology offered by the Wellington Institute of Technology. He began working with balancedesign in the beginning of 2021 and has become a valuable member of the team. Having had a background rich in a variety of employments and skill development, Alex took to digital design and draughting very quickly. A stint in 3D asset development for a game development organization, several years of building work and achieving a Certificate in Renewable Technologies from Southern Institute of Technology, all helped to form a solid foundation for a career as an Architectural Designer. Alex’s specialties include modelling existing buildings in accurate detail, including sites and landscaping, and constantly developing a drawing style and quality to meet the best in the industry. His personal interests tend towards Tiny Homes and Green/Biophilic Design; he’s exceptionally excited to start working on ecologically-minded projects and with greener technologies. Alex moved to the Coromandel Peninsula in early 2022, but continues to be part of the team remotely from his new home in Whitianga. With John’s help, he’s working towards his Building Practitioner’s License and is excited for where his career might bring him.

John is the founding director and principal designer of balancedesign ltd. His journey began in 1994 when he completed a building apprenticeship, from there he went on to pursue an Advanced Diploma in Drafting (Architecture) while continuing to work as a carpenter whilst studying. During his final years of study, John worked as a technician for Massey University of Engineering and Construction. After graduating John joined an Architectural Design practice where he worked for seven years.

John then decided to branch out on his own and in 2007 created balancedesign ltd. A large variety of projects have since been completed which includes residential alterations and new residential buildings. Since being in the industry John has gained a Design 2 Licence Classification under the Licensed Building Practitioners scheme and in 2016 John joined ADNZ as a professional member, where he attends events and keeps up to date with new products and design ideas.