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Cowboys vs. Aliens: Planners vs. Architects, the NRZ’s and the apartment apocalypse.

In a recent blog here I opined on the antipathy between planners and architects. I was surprised to get quite a few anonymous responses from both architects and planners. The very best response I received, perhaps from a statutory planner, simply said: “I am a planner and I hate you.” Another respondent proposed that the […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: Why Architecture students should read books instead of sticking their heads up Snapchat.  

I took some old books to studio the other day. The students just looked at me like WTF. I also felt a bit ashamed because I felt like I was some kinda old-timey-Appalachian-mountain-fogey bringing out his old architectty books. With all of the current enthusiasms for craft beer, artisanal coffee, cardboard  furniture that  goes soggy […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: 5 ways architecture students can avoid a mental health meltdown.

As an architecture student I was a miserable wretch and I was treated as such by my design tutors. At my part-time architecture job I slept at nights under the dyeline machine in the back of the office I worked in. Every week when I presented my studio work at the crits it was torture. […]

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The Horror of Barangaroo: Lousy bastard architecture as industrial design.

Having time away from home often helps one to see things in a new light. The grind of normal routine falls away and more reflective demeanour takes its place. For the academic such reflection helps to fuel ideas and suggest further things that can be written about in venues such as this. Hence, I am […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: 7 things to do to hit the ground running.

The first few weeks of any project or new graduate studio are critical to the success and delivery time of the project. Too often I have seen both architects and students waste valuable time by not quickly setting up the research, design research and design production process. Whilst, I am all for mulling ideas around […]

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A New Fortress for Art: Herzog and de Meuron’s Switch House at the Tate Modern

The new Switch House extension at the Tate Modern museum attests to Herzog and de Meuron’s ability to propose a public architecture that need not be a mish mash of white walls and fully glazed open vistas. As the Observer art critic Laura Cumming noted the Switch House seems to go against the “dominant piety of […]

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Bjarke Ingels vs. Pokemon GO: the summer pavillion at the Serpentine gallery.

A regular pilgrimage for many architects in the Northern summer is to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington gardens to see the summer pavilion. This year’s pavillion is Bjarke Ingels of BIG architecture fame. It goes without saying that the summer pavilion or Serpentine folly in the park is now a regular feature on the international architectural […]

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Architecture Students as Customers: How not to measure the value of architectural education

Whilst we are waiting for the outcome of our federal election it is worth noting that The Abbott-Turnbull  government has increased funding to a new project that measures quality in tertiary education. This initiative is called QILT: Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching. QILT is a ranking system that relies on independent data based on […]

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Cutting to the Bone: How fee cutting is destroying architectural practice

The architecture awards in my city is normally a time for celebration. As it should be. Many architects in my town live for it. This is not unlike my friends in advertising, who are also obsessed with awards but the difference is if you are in advertising you get to go to Cannes for the […]

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Surviving the Design Studio: Why architects and archi-students should go non-digital cold turkey.

In between moving house and writing the conference paper I was able to attend attend a few end of semester pinups at my architecture school. Afterwards of course the tutors and critics sat around in the local pub and chat about the current state of play. We mused about one very prominent and recently built […]