Working pro-bono

Earlier this year, before the coronavirus, there was another crisis that drew the attention of the world. During the Australian Black Summer, our worst ever bushfire season on record, 12 million hectares of land were burned, 1 billion animals were killed and 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere.[1] Though the last... Continue Reading →

Don’t panic

As regular Panfilo readers will know, Mihaly Slocombe is the small architecture business I run with my wife. Erica and I also share the parenting of our two young children, who are in grade two and kinder this year. At the best of times this is a daily juggling act of epic proportions. Every day... Continue Reading →

Update on Covid-19 support

A month and a lifetime have passed since my first article examining the various Covid-19 support packages on offer for architects. It feels like the world is a much calmer place now than the chaos, empty supermarkets and general panic of March. So it's time for an update on the support packages, and a summary... Continue Reading →

Redefining success

In March this year, stories on Dezeen and the Architects' Journal revealed the existence of unpaid and gruelling internships at the office of Japanese architect Junya Ishigami.[1][2] A leaked email offer stipulated thirteen hour days and six day weeks, and required interns to bring their own computers and software. The article was inspired by the... 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 →

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 →

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