Reflecting on Edge 2018

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Edge, was held in June this year on the Gold Coast. Curated by Brett Saville, Barry Lee and Wei Jien, it sought to explore the physical and cultural impacts of climate change on cities, and ask speakers to "place their projects in the wider context of the coastal... Continue Reading →

Architects vs the banks

A few years ago, I started encountering disturbing reports of banks unwilling to grant small construction loans where Australian Building Industry Contracts are used. ABIC contracts are published by the Australian Institute of Architects in partnership with the Master Builders Association. They are a suite of plain English building contracts with versions suitable for major, simple and... Continue Reading →

Central Melbourne design guide

The City of Melbourne has undertaken a review of the current design policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme, and proposed Amendment C308 to introduce a new approach to urban design. This includes a new Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1, and is accompanied by the Central Melbourne design guide (CMDG) to support its use and interpretation. The... Continue Reading →

The 2018 Venice Biennale

I’m in Venice. It’s hot and humid and teeming with tourists, a cacophony of languages and accents, cheap souvenirs and selfie sticks. The water is aquamarine and pungent, a bouquet of toxic algae and dead fish. The ancient buildings guard the banks of the canals, their mostly shuttered windows reinforcing a pervading sense of decay.... Continue Reading →

Heritage protection for Festival Hall

Festival Hall was built in 1955, replacing the 1913 West Melbourne Stadium that was destroyed that year by fire. The two buildings were the principal boxing and wrestling venues in Victoria until the late 1970s, and a principal live music venue until the 1980s.[1] Festival Hall's decades-long association with the boxing community earned it the... Continue Reading →

The genius loci of design

Genius loci The presiding god or spirit of a place Does the spirit of Mihaly Slocombe's design live in the pieces of yellow tracing paper that we fill with floorplans and diagrams? Or in the massing experiments we produce in SketchUp? Or in the presentation models we build from cardboard and balsa? Does it live in... Continue Reading →

The data of growth

Last week, I reflected on our goals for growth. I looked back through the history of Mihaly Slocombe and explored the decisions we've made as we've expanded from two to eight people. I concluded that we began growing without a systematic reason to do so. We had a little more work than we could handle,... Continue Reading →

To grow or not to grow

A couple of colleagues of mine, Dave Sharp and John Ellway, responded to my resource planning post a fortnight ago by asking for my take on why our headcount at Mihaly Slocombe is growing. In the post, I had discussed the benefits of a larger team, and its normalising effect on our earnings. Dave and John were... Continue Reading →

Goals oriented planning

In the early days of Mihaly Slocombe, we had no idea how to plan. We knew what needed doing, on what projects, and in what order, but we never attempted to put it all together. We had no conception of short cycle planning, of how to line up tasks each month to achieve a setlist... Continue Reading →

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