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New Zealand has an aging population with expectations for an increasing demand for elderly care and homing. Metlifecare is a leading New Zealand owner and operator of retirement villages, providing rewarding lifestyles and outstanding care to more than 6,500 New Zealanders. They currently own and operate a portfolio of 32 villages in areas located predominantly in New Zealand’s upper North Island.

An organization with ambitious plans to keep pace with demand Metlifecare needs to maintain efficiency and consistency from the planning of new villages to design and Care experience. Design Made was engaged to create a ground-up standards program that would align planners and designers with the expectations of Metlifecare.


Design Made conceived and designed a comprehensive and intuitive standards program that simplifies needs and criteria, defines principles, and provides a robust guideline both for Metlifecare and for their design partners. We started with a print-based solution, but quickly realized the need and value for a digital and more flexible solution. We partnered with Antigravity Studios to build an online portal that allows Metlifecare to easily add and update content, includes feedback and forums allowing users to engage with Metlifecare and other development teams. The standards program translates Metlifecare’s experiential and business needs into an interactive tool to guide the planning, design, and development of their properties. 


“At Metlifecare, an ambitious plan had been laid out for the developments team to deliver several thousand retirement living units within dozens of new retirement villages throughout New Zealand over the next five years.  As Metlifecare’s Head of Delivery, it was clear that we needed a design standards book to communicate our base architectural specs, details, and principles to our design teams to manage the development of that many buildings.  With Design Made’s collaborative approach and direction, we transformed what would have been an ordinary standards document into a dynamic online portal with a distinct look and feel that is more than fit for purpose.  The Metlifecare Design Standards portal designed by Designed Made has exceeded the business’s expectations of what it could deliver.  As this body of work continues to grow, the efficiency gained in design and costs saved has been immeasurable because of the buy-in from the design teams.  The portal is unique, user friendly, and speaks the designer’s language, which is why it is achieving success.  We could not be more excited about its future.”     

— Michael Lisowski, Metlifcare Head of Delivery

Client: Metlifecare
Industry: Aged Care
Partner: Antigravity Studios
Services Provided:
  • Strategy
  • Design Language Standards
  • Graphic & Digital Design
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