The Business of Design
Kerstin Thompson’s recent presentation for the ACA – SA was a thoughtful reflection on the business of design, busting some stubborn myths about architectural practice, and emphasising the need to balance design quality with business practice excellence, financial strength, thriving people and workplace health.
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.
A Question of Standards
With the high cost of accessing Australian Standards, how can we expect high levels of compliance in the building industry? Easy access to clear, understandable Standards must be a priority, argues John Held.
How Can Architects Take Action?
As governments tackle systemic issues in the building industry, John Held outlines some of the ways that architects can make an impact.
What Keeps Architects Awake at Night?
How do we ensure our profession remains relevant and vibrant? John Held draws threads through the many issues facing architecture and the construction industry, and asks how can we support each other as we face the future.
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 Achieve Pay Equity
Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.
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.
Running and directing an architecture practice is often gruelling, and can take a real toll on your mental health. Peter Raisbeck identifies the stress factors and offers some basic tips on self care.
Is Architectural Practice Making Architects Sick?
Professor Naomi Stead, Head of Architecture at Monash University, is one of the champions of a proposed new research project currently under development, Mental Wellbeing of Architects and Architecture Students: Culture, Education and the Workplace, which aims to examine links between architectural culture and identity and mental wellbeing. Here, Naomi takes a quick look at the issues.
Collective Action on Mental Health
Ben Channon is an Associate and Mental Wellbeing Ambassador at Assael Architecture, and chair of the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum in the UK. Ben talks us through the forum's origins and ambitions.
ACA President's Comment
In light of the release of the Building Confidence Implementation Plan, ACA National President John Held revisits the recent history of regulation in the Australian construction industry and the challenge of timely reform and coordination between all states and territories.
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.
Where to Now?
John Held argues that we need to take both collective action and individual responsibility if we are to address the complex, tangled problems of procurement, quality and risk.
It’s time to ditch the idea of the architectural rock star, embrace a more collaborative approach, and communicate far and wide, argues Jennifer Crawford.
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.
Welcome to 2019
The year has begun with a focus on quality – and the lack of it. ACA President John Held considers what architects and the ACA can do to improve the quality of the built environment.
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.
The State of the Profession Q&A with Flora Samuel
Michael Smith interviews Flora Samuel about the state of the profession, future challenges, and whether we need more or less architects.
Rethinking Culture, Communication and Boundaries
Michael Lewarne offers prognostications and provocations about cultural change and leadership in the architecture profession.
Challenging the Banks’ Discrimination Against ABIC
Warwick Mihaly outlines the findings of the recent survey on the banks and ABIC contracts. The worrying results provided the foundation for the joint submission to the Banking Royal Commission by the ACA, ArchiTeam and the Institute of Architects.
Future Practice? Conversations from the heart (of architecture)
What would Macquarie and Greenway say? Sean Godsell reflects on the state of the profession.
Valuable Experience or Exploitation? The Story of Unpaid Internships
In a profession under pressure, unpaid internships are becoming increasingly common, but they may be placing our most vulnerable students and graduates at risk. Melonie Bayl-Smith unpacks the issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The powerful impact of part-time work
Part-time employment can have enormous benefits – to employers and employees, but also to the creative process, argues Madeline Sewall.
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.
The Merits of Mentoring
When it comes to creating a motivated and well-supported architectural workforce, mentoring is a no-brainer, argues Michael Smith.
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.
Research in Architectural Practice - 6 ways for architects to create upstream knowledge
How can your practice amplify its research capability? Peter Raisback suggests six strategies.
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.
Give SA graduates a chance!
South Australia produces some great architecture graduates. ACA – SA argues that they should also have the chance to design buildings for their universities as they proceed with their careers.
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.
Is Everyone Experiencing This Right Now?
Design fees, scope creep, government projects: Alexandra Howieson reflects on the state of the nation.
Becoming a B Corp: Using business for the power of good
Lee Hillam outlines the process of becoming a B Corp and the benefits that flow from it.
Where to From Here: Embracing technological change
Is architecture on the verge of the greatest change in centuries? Ceilidh Higgins looks to the future and predicts disruption of epic proportions. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series.
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.
Architecture's State of Play: Where to Next
Michael Pilkington takes a close look at the ACA – SA State of the Profession research, and argues we must take a ‘let's make the cake bigger’ approach to both practice and the way serve the community, “because, simply, we can and we do live fundamentally for some kind of human-betterment”.
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.
What Are We Going to Do with All the Architects?
Steve Kennedy contemplates the future and the coming challenges to the architectural industry in Australia.
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.
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.
Ten Challenges / Ten Actions
Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.
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.
To BIM or not to BIM? What a Question!
How might the industry encourage clients to take up BIM?
Do We Need a Construction Happiness Index?
John Held on happiness, mental health and the construction industry.
Architectural Fees: what, how and where to...
Antony Di Mase canvasses the complexities of setting fees and the valuing of architectural work, arguing that we need consensus on how fees are determined.
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.
Into the Abyss
Does excessive fee-cutting mean the profession is presiding over its own demise? George Zillante outlines the issues.
Supporting Working Parents
What does the recent Human Rights Commission report mean for architectural businesses?