John retired in 2009, after fifty-odd years practicing, researching, and teaching. He spent several formative years doing his Master’s degree at the University of California Berkeley in the 1960’s, in the thick of the civil rights movement. He owned a VW combi van, sported a healthy beard, and studied with professors like Christopher Alexander who were hell-bent on bringing architecture to the people. John’s commitment to democratic processes is balanced by his appreciation for the rigours of architecture as a cultural discipline. He returned to New Zealand to join many of the country's best architects at the Ministry of Works, before putting one foot back into the university when he became one of the four founding academics at the VUW School of Architecture, where he eventually taught Sam. John remained in professional practice throughout his academic career and formed John Daish Architects in the 1990’s where amongst others he hired Sam, and which he ran until the formation of KebbellDaish in 2002.

Since 2002, other notable collaborations include:
Peter Adsett (on Humbug)
Robbie van Dam (on Blumhardt Gallery Furniture)
Mark Ritchie (during the years 2005-2008)
Bernd Benninghoff & Rafe Maclean (on DAC)
Ross Stevens (on Saatchi & Saatchi)

KebbellDaish has also had the benefit of a string of talented staff:

Scott MacKenzie
Kent Burns
Nyree Tolerton
Hamish Shaw
Francois Breedt
Matthias Ott
Soo Kim
David McGregor
Alexandra Lee
Tara Lowry
Erika Kruger
Max Hummell
David Harrison
Julia David