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 →

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 →

Predictable profitability – part 3

This is the fifth article in a series examining how we are transitioning our architecture studio from a lean startup to a more mature business methodology. In the last article, I shared my research into twenty six different resource scheduling apps, and the approach I used to whittle them down to a shortlist of four: Coincraft,... Continue Reading →

No Apple at Federation Square

I penned an ArchiTeam media release opposing the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square, it goes like this: ArchiTeam opposes the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square. The demolition of the Yarra Building at Federation Square and construction of an Apple flagship store in its place disregards the built context of... Continue Reading →

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