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 →

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 →

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 →

When the beast gets hungry

Continued from Feeding the beast... Our financial forecasting has proved to be a great tool to keep the Mihaly Slocombe beast satiated year-round. By starting with the money, we can prioritise projects and tasks to help us reach our earnings target each month. We can work out who's going to work on what, how long it should take and when... Continue Reading →

Feeding the beast

Albert Mo of Architects EAT has observed that all businesses are beasts. A small architecture practice needs very little sustenance to get by, while a medium-sized practice, with around 20 employees on board, can easily have a hundred thousand dollars in salaries to cover each month, plus overheads and profit. A constant parade of new projects is required to keep such a beast... Continue Reading →

You can’t sell an idea

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.[1] Thomas Edison said this in an era when inventions of the mechanical, electrical and medical varieties were constantly rewriting the script of modern life. Anyone can have an idea, he suggested, indeed good ideas are floating around all the time and all over the place. But success, and the... Continue Reading →

Cost planning 101

What was it? Part two of an all-day seminar we attended late last month, presented by quantity surveyor Geoffrey Moyle. With the tagline, Under control or over budget?, the seminar provided strategies for effectively managing the cost planning of residential projects. In addition to broad commentary, Moyle discussed the results of analysis he undertook on eighteen... Continue Reading →

Experimental architecture

Kids' Pod v1 Painted cement sheet cladding, timber external batten screen, timber framed strip windows, fixed timber louvres to windows, roof deck, steel ladder What is it? Our architectural design process at Mihaly Slocombe is pushed and pulled by many forces, though recent self-reflection has made us realise that perhaps no more so than by the opposing... Continue Reading →

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