As our profession faces periods of challenge, disruption and enormous technological change, we turn to a diverse group of leaders, thinkers and reformers to share their views and perspectives on everything from research, fees and building quality, to architectural education, new models of practice and the future of the profession.
Architects the Prisoners of Dilemma
Michael Lewarne uses the Prisoner’s Dilemma to raise the issue of architects low balling fees and doing free work in order to win bids. What can be done to ensure architects value their work and reflect the true cost of projects when setting fees?
Workplaces & COVID-19
Orla Hegarty, Assistant Professor at University College Dublin, has been advocating and educating on the important issue of ventilation in buildings for the last 18 months. Here she shares some clear, simple advice and watchpoints.
The Power of Vulnerability
Being vulnerable is challenging but it’s often necessary to make change happen. Modelling vulnerability is the action of a leader, writes Michael Lewarne.
Ventilation and COVID-19
We’ve been slow to recognise that COVID-19 is airborne and poorly ventilated buildings are hazardous, particularly for vulnerable groups. Geoff Hanmer has been writing about the impacts of indoor air quality since early in the pandemic, and outlines some of his findings here.
Architecture & Unbuilt Legacy
Michael Lewarne challenges architects to reflect on the legacy they want to leave.
Flexibility and Remote Working
Many practices are at the crossroads of the hybrid working model, but how do we adapt to the new way of working? Fiona Martin reflects on the best way forward for practices big and small.
Negotiating Government Tenders
Architects must collectively resolve to stop accepting unfair or uninsurable contract terms, argues Laura Harding from Hills Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects.
Architecture’s Gig Economy, COVID-19 & Building Resilience
As the global pandemic hits architects hard, Peter Raisbeck proposes a few ideas about how to build professional resilience.
Investment Needed in Civic Projects & Social Housing
ACA - Vic/Tas President and FFPV Director Paul Viney reflects on his experiences with past and present economic downturns, the need for more government investment in civic projects and social housing, and the challenges of COVID-19 and remote working.
Pulse Checks & the Construction Outlook
If architecture is the canary in the coalmine, the outlook for construction is appalling, writes Geoff Hanmer.
Running a Practice in Lockdown
Warwick Mihaly shares the challenges of trying to run a small practice in lockdown while supervising remote learning with small children and keeping his business afloat.
Leadership for Architects: 101
Peter Raisbeck explores how ethical leadership and decision making are crucial in these uncertain times.
How COVID-19 Will Change the Traditional Workplace
What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the traditional workplace and what can we learn from this giant workplace experiment, writes Hames Sharley Principal and Workplace Portfolio Leader Stephen Moorcroft.
Government Support and What Employers Can Do
As we face a crisis of unknown proportions, Rob Peake, Principal of Management for Design, outlines what is needed from the Federal Government, and what architectural practices can do to weather the storm.
International Men’s Day Reflections
ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on a week of inspirational panel discussions and events that will hopefully spur others on to further action.
Fixing the Building Industry - A Wishlist
With defect-prone apartment buildings in the spotlight, it’s clear that Australia’s apartment procurement system needs a serious redesign. Michael Smith highlights the state of play in the building industry, and lays out his wishlist of reforms.
Consumer Confidence in the Title ‘Architect’
ACA - WA Committee member Kate Fitzgerald discusses the growing trend for incorrect use of the title ‘Architect’ in an age of declining consumer confidence, and how the time is right to reclaim the title.
How to Solve the Building Practitioner Insurance Crisis in Australia
The PI insurance crisis is upon us - but how did it come to this? Senior Construction Lawyer Kim Lovegrove identifies the key challenges, and outlines his ideas for bringing the Australian building industry back from the brink.
Putting People in the Picture
Why are people largely absent from our architectural imagery? As a profession that designs and builds spaces for people, perhaps we need to be more conscious of including people in our floorplans and models, writes Fiona Young.
Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!
Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.
As International Women's Day 2019 approaches, ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on her upbringing, the importance of seeing strong women leaders in public life, and the need to push for basic human rights for all.
Not Just a Matter of Good Design
As architects, we should be selling our ability to realise a well-constructed, quality, safe building rather than focusing solely on design, argues Michael Lewarne.
Current fragmented systems for procuring and delivering complex building projects are compromising the built outcome, to the detriment of the consumer, the public and the built environment professions. Stephen Pearse argues that the building procurement process needs a complete defrag.
Don't Throttle Design Education
Professor Tom Kvan argues the case for broad access to a design-based education and points out the profound societal benefits it brings.
Bring Back the Clerk of Works
In the wake of the Opal Tower debacle, Michael Hegarty explores the role of the Clerk of Works, and the need to return this key project role to Australian construction sites.
Tips for Maternity Leave
Sarah Lebner reviews her experience of preparing for maternity leave while balancing her responsibilities as a principal architect.
Rethinking Culture, Communication and Boundaries
Michael Lewarne offers prognostications and provocations about cultural change and leadership in the architecture profession.
Future Practice? Conversations from the heart (of architecture)
What would Macquarie and Greenway say? Sean Godsell reflects on the state of the profession.
New Business Models
Jennifer Crawford argues that the question of fees is really a question of business models. Architects need to work out what their ‘super power’ is, and charge accordingly.
Is Regulation the Answer to Fee Madness?
Is reintroducing fee scales and further regulation the solution to fee slashing and ‘the race for the bottom’ among architects? Is this really feasible in a world of increasing globalisation and diversification of service providers? Ceilidh Higgins considers other options.
Addressing Architecture’s Wicked Problems through Affordances
Fiona Young argues that we need to understand briefing as a key part of the architect's role, develop a common understanding with clients to ensure the best outcome, and charge fees accordingly.
Fee Redemption: A mutually assured future
The conversation about fees is taking off across social media. John Held argues that many of the contemporary problems facing architects derive from unpriced risk, and that nationwide research and smarter business practices are part of the solution.
We Need to Stop Innovating in Indigenous Housing and get on with Closing the Gap
Kieran Wong argues that the National Indigenous Housing Guide must be mandated by law to ensure the best housing outcomes for Indigenous communities.
Can Design Deliver Positive Economic Outcomes?
Broadening the procurement process to consider the value of good design brings economic benefits to the state, argues SA Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale.
Step Up, Don’t Step Back
John Held argues that stepping up to the small stuff is also the path to improving the profession's wider role in society.
Part of the Territory? A response from the ACA
Poor workplace cultures and conditions are bad for everyone - employee, employer and the wider profession. David Wagner responds to one recent account.
Go Hard or Go Home!
Lee Hillam reflects on the long-hours culture in architecture.
Research in Practice
John Held reflects on conjunctions of research and practice in a talk presented at the Australian Institute of Architects Flipped Forum, which asked ‘Can practice lead research?’
Wanted: More women at the top
Women make great leaders, but a seat at the top table is often elusive. Emma Williamson explores the obstacles women face on the road to the top.
The ACA and the Institute - Distinct but Complementary
An interview with ACA - WA President Kieran Wong about the ACA and potential collaborations with the Institute of Architects.
Knowledge Futures: Future Proofing the Architectural Firm.
Do we want a downstream future or an upstream one? The choice is ours, and the consequences are far-reaching. Peter Raisbeck outlines two scenarios.
Ensuring Australia's future in BIM
It's essential that Australia has a consistent approach towards BIM implementation, ensuring its future growth can support international opportunities, argues Rebecca De Cicco.
Architecture and Design Fees: Why Hourly Rates?
The value of a company today is based on ideas rather than assets or staff numbers, so why do architects still charge by the hour? Ceilidh Higgins explores the possibilities for non-traditional fee structures.
Business Suits vs. Designers: Why architectural practice is going down the gurgler
Peter Raisbeck argues that the false opposition between design and business is crippling architecture. We need to bridge the divide to ensure the ongoing viability of the profession.
Where to from here: A promising outlook
A rapidly changing profession brings fresh opportunities for flexibility and specialisation, says emerging architect Emily Chalk.
Where to From Here: Clients Drive Collaboration and Consolidation
Michael Hegarty reflects on the rise of the integrated architecture and engineering practice, arguing that we need to reframe design as process that is essential to client needs.
Where to From Here: It's Not Even Architecture
As young practitioners and thinkers deeply invested in our profession's future, Jenna Holder and Athanasios Lazarou consider the issues and make a strong call for collective action. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series, which invites reflections on the recent ACA SA State of the Profession research.
Where to From Here? The View From an Emerging Practice
Sonia Sarangi and Michael Smith of Atelier Red and Black argue that we need to understand and 'own' the changes facing the profession, to help make them work for rather than against us.
The demand for architectural services in the developing world is continuing to grow. Leone Lorrimer considers how Australian architects can make the most of offshore opportunities, and gives the government some pointers on how to help.
BIM - the Architects' Trojan Horse
Peter Barda argues that BIM offers a way for architects to regain their role as trusted advisor.
Public Private Partnerships For Procurement
PPP projects do not always deliver all that is claimed - and architects rarely benefit. Ann Gorey reflects on the perceived advantages, claimed benefits and actual costs of this common procurement method.
The Gap Between Authority and Expertise - BIM and Government Procurement
John Held reflects on the importance of the educated government client and architects who have a sophisticated understanding of the client organisation.
A Changing Profession
All professions grow, mature and change - Susan Shannon draws on her extensive body of research to reflect on registration and the shifting shape of the profession.
Ten Challenges / Ten Actions
Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.
Wanted! Business-savvy archi-preneurs
Reflecting on the opportunities ahead, Jane Cameron argues that we need to explore different modes of practice and new ways to recognise competance, and to design new business models.
Deskilling and Reskilling
John Held reflects on deskilling and reskilling in the profession. Have architects lost the role of ‘trusted advisor’? What do low registration rates mean and what skills do we need to be effective in the future?
What Makes a City?
The Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, launched the Sydney Architecture Festival with an impressive speech about the role of architects in the making of innovative cities.
Architecture and Journalism - not so different after all
Michael Bleby reflects on architecture and journalism.
Design - Does it need a Policy?
How do we ensure the community reaps the benefits of a well-designed built environment? Peter Barda considers what types of policy might be effective.
Supporting Working Parents
What does the recent Human Rights Commission report mean for architectural businesses?
To Work or Not to Work? The Part-time Question
Melonie Bayl-Smith argues that flexible work arrangements may be the best option for an architectural practice to retain its corporate knowledge and for the profession to retain its talent.