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 →

Reflecting on Praxis 2017

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Praxis, was held last month in Sydney. Breaking with the twelve year old tradition of appointing creative directors via open competition, it was curated by AIA National President Ken Maher and UNSW Built Environment Dean Helen Lochhead. The conference sought to "explore processes of thought, engagement and action,"... Continue Reading →

A new advocacy player

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. In July last year, ArchiTeam launched a working group tasked to find ways it might "educate the public about the value of architects through marketing and public outreach". This endeavour proposes to engage in both marketing and advocacy activities, a canny mix of pragmatism and altruism that I believe has the power to simultaneously promote our... Continue Reading →

The challenges of geography

There are many residential architecture studios in Melbourne whose portfolios are concentrated within specific geographical regions: the south-eastern suburbs, the inner-north, bayside, the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat. I live in Carlton North and seem to see Robert Simeoni signs on front fences everywhere. Zen Architects does a lot of work in and around Northcote. Jolson Architects has nailed the Toorak market. I don't... Continue Reading →

Explaining the architectural fee

According to the standard client and architect agreement published by the Australian Institute of Architects, there are three traditional methods by which an architect can charge fees to her client: Percentage fee Lump sum fee Hourly rates[1] There's a fourth method that's emerging amongst younger practices, inspired by the lean startup strategy and the practice of web-based design platforms... Continue Reading →

How Soon Is Now?

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, How Soon Is Now?,  was held last month in Adelaide. Creatively directed by Cameron Bruhn, Sam Spurr and Ben Hewett, it explored the "agency of architecture to make real changes in the world."[1] The directors identified the expansive conversation of last year's conference, Risk, as a precursor, and proposed to... Continue Reading →

Reform at the AIA

In recent months, members of the Australian Institute of Architects have received a stream of emails addressing substantial changes underway within the organisation. The changes target the very heart of the Institute and systematically rethink the way it functions. This is a subject I've discussed previously (see Why I'm a member of the AIA and A better AIA), so have followed the proposed... Continue Reading →

The triangle offensive

This is the 6th of twenty-one lessons for design students, gathered from the combined experience of being a student, and teaching students. I will published one lesson each weekday until they're done. 6. The triangle offensive At the Australian Institute of Architects national conference this year, keynote speaker Gregg Pasquarelli suggested a powerful test of any idea: A good... Continue Reading →

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