Draw (or write) everything only once

I enjoy documenting. I enjoy the design thinking that goes into good detailing, the artfulness of laying out a page, the methodical assembly of a rigorous documentation set. As the years have passed, I have codified a list of ten rules for exceptional documentation. Some have been bestowed upon me by peers like perfect golden nuggets... Continue Reading →

Rules for exceptional documentation

Almost two decades ago, the summer before I started studying architecture, I did a week of work experience at the old Public Office studio of Six Degrees Architects. I can still remember the lunch vouchers, hot desks and pigeon holes, and the daunting feeling of being a very small fish in a very big pond. I... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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