Do you need to rethink your architecture practice?

So much of "traditional" architectural practice inherits the way it's done, with the majority of practices set up the default way.

Traditional practice suits some people, there’s a reason why it’s done that way. But it doesn’t work or sit well for everyone. It’s possible to rethink your practice in a big way or just a small way. Designing a practice that brings you more joy. A practice that excites you every day, such that you can’t wait to get to the office. Your practice might be one that’s close to the traditional middle of practice. Perhaps you’re closer to an edge, where things get really interesting. The trick is to have a practice that’s unique to you, your passions, your skills and your idea of success.

You might already be sitting reading this thinking, I want that, why can’t I have that? In which case you probably do need to rethink your practice.

Some of you might be thinking, well that’s just a dream, it’s not possible to have an architectural practice that excites and brings joy every day, or that utilises all of you and fills you up. Respectfully, I think you’re wrong and you do need to rethink your practice.

For everyone else, those that are unsure, undecided or underwhelmed, here are some questions to consider.

  • Are you fully utilising your skills and fulfilling your passions and interests?
  • Are you doing the work you envisaged when you first started?
  • Do you have the clients you envisaged when you first started?
  • Do other people describe your practice in the way you would like it to be seen and described?
  • Does the work you’re doing align with your values?
  • Does your practice align with your idea of success?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you probably need to rethink your practice.

  • Do you feel stuck in your practice?
  • Are there things you’ve settled for in practice? Areas of practice you might have domain over but feel defeated by? Areas you might be relinquishing as simply the way it has to be?
  • Is there anything about “conventional” architectural practices that you question or challenge?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you probably need to rethink your practice.

How is this sitting for you? It might be time to rethink or reposition your practice to better incorporate your own interests, skills and vision and take advantage of your unique abilities. Doing so by building better strategies and frameworks for your practice. Developing your business and human skills, to develop a successful practice and to bring you excitement and joy.

Start from a strategic, overarching and holistic vision for your practice. One that considers your values, ambitions and what success looks like for you. Success looks differently for everyone and might include the types of projects, the size of your office, the people you work with or for, your hours, income, the change you want to make in the world, or something altogether different. You should take some time to consider why you practice, what you want to be doing, and how you would like to do it. This can then shape a more holistic approach to developing the four parts of your practice that enable you to do your work better: people and culture, marketing, office management and finance.

What will you rethink?


If you want to rethink your practice…

This is the work that excites me. Helping architects get excited about their practice again and supporting them in finding the joy.

I offer free 30 minute introductory calls you can book right now HERE.


Picture by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels [edited]

Hi! I’m Michael

I’m an architect and coach. I help architects rethink their practice and support them as they uncover better ways to work. I’ve worked in architecture for over 25 years, and I ran my own practice for 14 years. I understand architectural practice from the inside out. Fun Fact: my NSW architect’s registration is #10 007 and I have a license to skill.

I believe improving practice takes asking hard questions and deep listening.

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