“People change when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing.” (variously attributed)
Contemplating this quote, my thoughts turned to the architecture profession. The profession is hurting, we face a number of challenges: poor fees and/or fee undercutting, procurement practices, public misapprehension of the value of architects, poor business practices, gender equity, to name the most prominent. Efforts are being made on a number fronts to address these challenges. Yet in a failure of culture and leadership, the profession is surprisingly resistant to making the necessary changes to address the challenges.Read more →
Is there a leadership deficit in architecture?
I contend that there is.
It’s something I’ve been contemplating of late. In a recent conversation with my colleague, Melonie Bayl-Smith, she observed that people seem to be more willing to throw money at an issue, rather than actually do something about it themselves. She noted parents were willingly paying a coach for their child’s football team, rather than taking on the role themselves. We wondered, is the same attitude manifest in the profession? Are architects paying membership fees to their representative institutions, in part, to absolve themselves from leadership responsibility?Read more →
Article first published Architecture Bulletin Vol 75 No 4 March 2019
My four-person practice Redshift Architecture & Art loses far more jobs than we win. No doubt it’s a common story.
Redshift chooses not to do requests for quotations, expressions of interests and design competitions. But we have prepared RFQs and EOIs in the past. Preparing submissions cost thousands of dollars – often going into five figures – and the cost of winning small projects represents a significant proportion of the final fee. From a business sense, it’s hard to justify.Read more →
Architects, in our design work, will often end up with immense piles of butter paper. It is a revealing record of the process and history of the design. We may often use these drawings when presenting the design to a colleague and perhaps, on occasion, to a client. It helps explain, or indeed justify, the current proposition. Yet we’re not inclined to do the same for any other decisions that we make or anything else that we do.Read more →
What is the frame by which we define our role as an architect, or indeed what is the frame presented to the public? What are the assumptions made in and around the role of an architect? It’s not only the dictionary that defines architects as designers of buildings, the profession as a whole does this too.Read more →