Reflecting on Praxis 2017

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Praxis, was held last month in Sydney. Breaking with the twelve year old tradition of appointing creative directors via open competition, it was curated by AIA National President Ken Maher and UNSW Built Environment Dean Helen Lochhead. The conference sought to "explore processes of thought, engagement and action,"... Continue Reading →

Altruism and entrepreneurialism

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. Inspired by member interest, ArchiTeam decided last year to initiate a public outreach program that will advocate for architects and architecture. I covered the broad context of this development here, exploring why ArchiTeam might want to take on such a challenging role. I observed that the built environment has many enemies plundering it for... Continue Reading →

YouTube advocacy

Late on Wednesday night, a colleague alerted me to a perturbing YouTube video uploaded by the Association of Professional Builders. Despite its official-sounding name, APB is in fact a marketing agency that "specialises in helping building companies to increase their leads, sales, profits and professionalism." Its goal is to assist builders to stay in business, which it facilitates through online training,... Continue Reading →

A new advocacy player

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. In July last year, ArchiTeam launched a working group tasked to find ways it might "educate the public about the value of architects through marketing and public outreach". This endeavour proposes to engage in both marketing and advocacy activities, a canny mix of pragmatism and altruism that I believe has the power to simultaneously promote our... Continue Reading →

The challenges of geography

There are many residential architecture studios in Melbourne whose portfolios are concentrated within specific geographical regions: the south-eastern suburbs, the inner-north, bayside, the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat. I live in Carlton North and seem to see Robert Simeoni signs on front fences everywhere. Zen Architects does a lot of work in and around Northcote. Jolson Architects has nailed the Toorak market. I don't... Continue Reading →

Footsteps of Leplastrier

Day 1 It’s a Sunday lunchtime in late August when we leave Melbourne, giving us plenty of time for a leisurely drive through the Yarra Valley and out to Murrindindi. We’re following in the footsteps of the great architect Richard Leplastrier, who camps out on a site to feel the land and place as he... Continue Reading →

Houzz Pro membership

In August last year, Erica and I signed Mihaly Slocombe up to the Houzz Pro membership programme. This placed our sponsored project photos into the organic search streams of local audiences, increasing the visibility of our business in and around Melbourne. We were required to commit to the programme for twelve months, a huge financial leap... Continue Reading →

Happy 6th birthday

Today Panfilocastaldi turns 6, meaning I have survived another full year of blogging. As I have on each prior anniversary, I'm going to take this opportunity to reflect on the scope and focus of my writing. Why do I write? What do I write? Who is it for? As I review the content I've published this... Continue Reading →

Explaining incremental tasks

There are three traditional methods by which an architect can charge fees to her client: the percentage fee, lump sum fee, and hourly rates. Inspired by the lean startup strategy, there's a fourth method that's emerging amongst younger practices: incremental tasks. This is the last in a series of five articles that will assess the benefits and disadvantages... Continue Reading →

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