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DESIGN is not skin deep!


What is DESIGN?

Well one thing is for sure it’s not what you see on TV’s reality renovation shows; which is essentially ‘decoration’ of a building shell.

No, true Architectural Design is complex, innovative and fluid problem solving.

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You want a what? You’re kidding?


It doesn’t happen very often but it happens often enough. Each time it does happen I find it astounding! I’m talking about the decision to go with a drafting service instead of an architect.

My most recent experience was from a phone enquiry regarding a house in an established Melbourne suburb.

They had recently spent ‘over $2.5million’ on purchasing a superb red brick Federation unrenovated house on a large north facing site.

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I want a ‘green’ Architect!

A few years back I was one of a few architects that had been selected by a potential client for a new house in the Dandenong hills.

After an exhaustive selection process he contacted me to say they had decided to go with a ‘green’ architect! I wished him all the best with their project.


After I put down the phone I was annoyed that there were architects that were marketing themselves (successfully) as specifically ‘environmentally focused’.

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Ho Ho Ho Reflections


Ho Ho Ho and welcome to the end of the year!

Yes I know the attention span at this time of year is very limited and what we are all generally short of is TIME.

So I will make this short and intentionally lightweight.

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End of an Era…

Kilora Grices Road Berwick aerial

Well it is a sad day. After over 22 years of private practice it seems too soon…and it came unexpectedly and without fanfare.

One of my early designs has been demolished!

Well to be fair it wasn’t a complete demolition; more of a deconstruction…

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The 3D Ride to Reality


As a child I personally found it very annoying when friends of my parents I may not have seen for a while would say to me “haven’t you grown!” Well “yes”…most people do…

No this is not a retrospective journey into my past – it is a quick journey into archi-tech(nology) and WOW “how it has grown”!

So put on your ‘Oculus’ and embrace the future!

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Stop and Smell the Zinc


There a moments in life where the combination of a cold beer, a balmy autumn day and a reflective mood create the perfect mix.

My sister in-law, her husband and I shared this last autumn and what resulted was the smallest project I have ever done, yet very rewarding.

We were always told at University NEVER to work for family OR lawyers…this was logically the ‘perfect storm’ – as both are lawyers!

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Now they are in the ‘crosshairs’…


I still have a bit to say about ‘volume builders’. My last post covered some ground but ‘now they are in the crosshairs’ it is definitely time to go further.

So the McDonalds ‘meal deal’ of construction seems attractive to you? – You have been lured by the low-ish numbers and the marketing BUT are you prepared for the compromises?

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Us Versus Them!


My neighbour is just completing a ‘project home’ by one of the very well known ‘volume builders’. It has been interesting following the progress of his new home which is only a few doors up. I can’t help but provide my thoughts to him and his wife about aspects of the design, methods of construction and finish. That’s ok to them (I hope) as they have always been comfortable with the overall (relatively low) cost of the product they purchased and from the beginning they have accepted that it comes with obvious compromises.

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The Master Lives…Forever


One of the very cool aspects of being an architect is that your built work lasts for a very long time.

I love the work of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He died in 1959 and left us with some of the world’s most incredible buildings. Well known to many would be The Guggenheim in New York; that crazy white outward-spiral on Fifth Avenue, which was completed just after his death at 92 years of age.

And if the art is not inspiring – don’t worry…the building IS the art.

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