Surviving the Design Studio: The 2018 list of what Architects should do over XMAS.

Happy New Year (well, almost anyway). 

As much as I love architecture studios it can get pretty soul destroying sometimes. Yep, being in, or running, an architect’s office can be gruelling, demanding and kind of boring as well. We all long for the Elysian fields far away from the towers.


For small practitioners it’s all about the desperation to survive, running from one builder or client induced crisis to the next, spending your time doing taxation admin and forgetting to send out the invoices or contribute to your super.  All of which you have to do whilst juggling the kids between child care, schools and sport. Nonetheless, most practitioners spend their time thinking about how they can lead better and better serve the community and their clients.

For architectural employees the low pay, the long uncontrolled hours, the peer competition and rivalries, the bullying and pressure, not to mention the outbreaks of workplace harassment and discrimination. Amongst this studio horror most architectural employees and recent graduates spend a lot of time thinking about the relevance of the profession and their place in it.

So when the holidays come along no matter how brief they may be its good to do a few things that will rejuvenate. Doing these things will actually help you answer the big questions of how to lead better and how to make your own place in the profession.

The following hints are designed to rejuvenate your creative and design orientated problem solving skills. These tips will help you rejuvenate and also help you to get a real life outside of architecture.

1.Watch an actual film or two

Thor Ragnarok 

Mountains May Depart 


2. Make a film 

Yep, go on a road trip and make a film. Do your own drawings and cartoons and turn them into a film. You can even make something with a few powerpoints. Be polemical.

3. Ride a bike around your city. 

Last September I rode all around London and it was great.

4. Listen to really weird Music 

The more twentieth or twenty-first century the better. Go for a bit of Stockhausen or Henri Denerin. In my town I go to the Salon at the Melbourne Recital Hall it is a great place to hang out and listen to music.

5. Get your social media act together

Kardashian style bathroom selfies aren’t really going to make your career. Think of Insta as a way to select curate and distribute ambiguous images. Check out my instagram account @archienemy.


6. Explore and get obsessed with the latest fashion or fad until you get sick of it. 

Craft beer has been my great discovery this year. Now I am sick of it. I really don’t think I will change careers to become a craft brewer.

7. Make your own public art in your neighbourhood then snapchat the results. 

If you need more ideas check out my 2016 and 2017 posts on this subject. Have a great break.  Over the next month I will be posting the most popular: Surviving the Design Studios from 2016 and 2017. Thank you again for your support and a special thanks to all of all you who have alerted me to the numerous typos here at Surviving the Design Studio!