Since early 2012, I have been writing about the practice and business of architecture, subjects that have since developed into the primary focus of this blog. You can review a chronological listing of my architecture practice articles here, or search the below index.
Please feel free to use the index as a reference for your own work.
The value of architecture
These articles explore the responsibilities of the architecture profession, our value to the broader community, and opportunities for mutual improvement.
- Reform at the AIA, 28th April 2016
- A better AIA, 9th June 2015
- Why I’m a member of the AIA, 12th May 2015
- Learning from lawyers, 19th March 2015
- On being an architect and a dad, 18th November 2014
- You can’t sell an idea, 25th February 2014
- The iron triangle, 12th February 2014
- Why working for free is not okay, 15th November 2013
- Experimental architecture, 2nd October 2013
- What’s in a name?, 13th August 2013
- Sharing is better than hoarding, 16th December 2012
- The invisible profession, 5th December 2012
- Reinventing the wheel, 11th February 2012
Starting an architecture practice
These articles explore the beginnings of architecture practice.
- Small architecture practice and the Cloud, 16th April 2013
- Dear Sir or Madam, 27th February 2013
- Leap of faith, 26th November 2012
This is a series of 10 articles that discuss the most important things an architect needs to get started in practice. I have grouped them under the tag, Starting your architecture practice.
- The future, 2nd May 2013
- Community, 1st May 2013
- Support team, 30th April 2013
- Cashflow, 29th April 2013
- Electronics, 28th April 2013
- The studio, 25th April 2013
- The law, 24th April 2013
- Identity, 23rd April 2013
- Clients, 22nd April 2013
- Chutzpah, 21st April 2013
These articles explore marketing opportunities for architects.
- Houzz Pro membership, 30th November 2016
- The mystery of marketing, 4th March 2015
- Marketing 101, 16th December 2013
This is a series of 8 articles exploring the importance of social media to the architecture profession, with a particular focus on their value for students. I’ve grouped them under the tag, social media for students.
- Other social media for students, 11th April 2016
- WordPress for students, 29th March 2016
- Houzz for students, 24th March 2016
- LinkedIn for students, 22nd February 2016
- Facebook for students, 15th February 2016
- Instagram for students, 8th February 2016
- Twitter for students, 1st February 2016
- Social media for students, 28th January 2016
Client, fees and finances
These articles are for both architects and clients of architects. They discuss the client / architect relationship, the importance of appropriate fees, growth and practice finances.
- To grow or not to grow, 16th April 2018
- Goals oriented planning, 27th March 2018
- The challenges of geography, 30th January 2017
- When the beast gets hungry, 24th December 2015
- Feeding the beast, 30th November 2015
- The ideal client, 15th January 2014
- Why your budget is not your brief, 10th January 2013
- The architectural fee, 25th April 2012
This is a series of 10 articles that explore the benefits to clients in commissioning an architect over other building designers. I have grouped them under the tag, why engage an architect.
- We are surprisingly cheap, 3rd November 2014
- We design for environmental sustainability, 27th October 2014
- We design for your future, 20th October 2014
- Quality not quantity, 13th October 2014
- Research and development, 29th September 2014
- We tell you how it is, 18th August 2014
- We have creative vision, 28th July 2014
- What you see is what you get, 21st July 2014
- Our work is site specific, 13th July 2014
- Our work is all about you, 10th July 2014
This is a series of 5 articles that explain the different forms of the architectural fee. They assess their benefits and disadvantages, and analyse each from the points of view of both the architect and the client. They’re grouped under the tag, explaining the architectural fee.
- Explaining incremental tasks, 16th September 2016
- Explaining hourly rates, 10th August 2016
- Explaining the lump sum fee, 25th July 2016
- Explaining the percentage fee, 27th June 2016
- Explaining the architectural fee, 23rd June 2016
The is an ongoing series of 6 articles that examine how we are transitioning our architecture studio from a lean startup to a more mature business methodology.
- Careful communication, due May 2018
- Predictable profitability – part 3, 23rd February 2018
- Predictable profitability – part 2, 30th October 2017
- Predictable profitability – part 1, 23rd October 2017
- Accountable accounting, 30th July 2017
- Renovating our business, 28th June 2017
These articles discuss project delivery, cost management and construction tendering.
- Cost planning 101, 17th December 2013
- The perils of tendering, 11th February 2013
- Slow architecture, 24th September 2012
This is a series of 7 articles that analyse the time requirements of architectural projects, divided across key project stages. I have grouped them under the tag, the best things in life take time.
- Construction, 22nd April 2014
- Tendering, 17th April 2014
- Documentation, 16th April 2014
- Design development, 15th April 2014
- Town planning, 14th April 2014
- Sketch design, 11th April 2014
- Research, 10th April 2014
This is a series of 8 articles that explore what goes wrong on site. I have grouped them under the tag, disaster lessons from site.
- A soft deadline, 20th April 2015
- Incomplete works at handover, 13th April 2015
- A rogue trade, 9th February 2015
- A pause in construction, 27th January 2015
- Irregular site meetings, 19th January 2015
- An unsubstantiated provisional sum, 12th January 2015
- Progress payments by stage, 5th January 2015
- Pre-contract confrontation, 28th December 2014
Lessons to my younger self
This is an ongoing series of articles that explore lessons learnt over the years. One in particular contains the most important lesson to young architects I can possibly offer: do good work then put it where people can see it.
- Better to finish an imperfect project than perfect an unfinished one, 26th August 2015
- Bring your A-game, 25th August 2015
- A great project succeeds at every stage, 24th August 2015
- Show it don’t say it (version #2), 21st August 2015
- Tell a story, 20th August 2015
- Choose the right scale, 19th August 2015
- Roll design and presentation into one, 18th August 2015
- Iterate, 17th August 2015
- Move forwards not sideways, 14th August 2015
- Learning is a two way street, 12th August 2015
- Sweat the small stuff, 11th August 2015
- Design does not happen in a bubble, 10th August 2015
- The teacup principle, 7th August 2015
- The KISS principle, 6th August 2015
- Ideas must be legible, 5th August 2015
- The triangle offensive, 4th August 2015
- Develop a tree of ideas, 3rd August 2015
- Jaws in space, 31st July 2015
- Site analysis uses the language of your ideas, 30th July 2015
- Good research is essential, 29th July 2015
- Be open to the unexpected, 28th July 2015
- Lessons for design students, 27th July 2015
- The lifestyle is bitchin’, 25th June 2014
- The architect is a Renaissance Man, 24th June 2014
- Architecture practice is an emotional rollercoaster ride, 23rd June 2014
- Business is not a dirty word, 20th June 2014
- Architecture is slow, 19th June 2014
- Architecture is old fashioned, 18th June 2014
- Follow your gut, 20th December 2012
- Show it don’t say it, 7th October 2012
- Good design knows no boundaries, 3rd August 2012
- Sting like a bee, 2nd August 2012
- Learn from your body, 1st August 2012
- A building has six elevations, 31st July 2012
- Stick with it until the end, 30th July 2012
- Create a hierarchy of ideas, 27th July 2012
- It’s okay not to know the punchline, 26th July 2012
- Seeing is believing, 25th July 2012
- Tomorrow is defined by what you do today, 24th July 2012
- Look back in order to move forward, 23rd July 2012
- Creativity is subtraction, 30th September 2011
- Be boring (it’s the only way to get work done), 29th September 2011
- Be nice (the world is a small town), 28th September 2011
- Geography is no longer our master, 27th September 2011
- The secret: do good work then put it where people can see it, 26th September 2011
- Side projects and hobbies are important, 25th September 2011
- Use your hands, 24th September 2011
- Design the house in which you want to live, 23rd September 2011
- Don’t wait until you know who you are to make things, 22nd September 2011
- How to steal like an architect, 21st September 2011
- Disclaimer: While I have taken all care to ensure the accuracy of my articles, please seek further advice from appropriate authorities. The Australian Institute of Architects‘ series of practice notes are a good place to start.
- I am happy to share the information contained within Panfilocastaldi via a Creative Commons license. Please refer to the About page for further information on use and sharing restrictions.
- Architect’s chair, author’s own image.
- DeLorean, author’s own image.
- People, author’s own image.
- Money, author’s own image.
- Laptop, author’s own image.
- Lightbulb moment, author’s own image.