Opportunities for Practice
An article written by HDR Managing Principal Cate Cowlishaw was published in the Australian Institute of Architect's Architecture Bulletin. Titled "Opportunities in Practice", the magazine feature outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities that practice is facing following an informal roundtable discussion with fjmtstudio, TKD Architects, Aileen Sage and Kieran McInerney Architect.
The article discusses the impact that the pandemic has had on practice, both from a people and culture and project perspective, as well as governance. In essence, Cate suggests that the dark days of the pandemic may have been the prelude to a period of positivity for the profession.
People and Culture
Cate outlines some of the key issues that practice is navigating from an operational perspective, including attraction, retention, shortage of skilled staff and salary pressures. She goes on to discuss the hybrid workplace model that has evolved out of COVID-19 and why good collaboration and face-to-face engagement is still so integral to the profession. She also pays tribute to one of the positive legacies of virtual work; a borderless and more inclusive culture that has broken down geographic barriers.
Cate notes that the day-to-day of running projects has continued relatively unscathed. Some of the themes discussed include the ongoing focus on Environmental, Social and Governance measures such as environmental performance, Indigenous participation and gender equity.
Lastly, Cate talks about the broader governance structures in which practices operate, such as the work of the Government Architect, the State Design Review Panel (SDRP) process, the current composition of the Land and Environment Court, and the Design and Build Practitioners Act.