In 2016 we saw the coming together of a small group of energetic and committed ArchiTeam members to brainstorm Advocacy. An initial member survey found 68% in favour of exploring the topic to ‘Educate the public on the value of Architects through marketing and public outreach’. We had dreams of leaping straight into action, however over the course of three meetings we came across so many inspiring and varied ideas. It became apparent that there are many issues small practice Architects face that require advocacy and action.
We invited a community engagement company Capire to lead the group through two workshops. Our aim was to develop a strategic framework to record these ideas and potential projects, to be selected by future Advocacy groups to continue the good work. Through these workshops our ideas of advocacy focused on informing decisions – “…ultimately by enabling the public to make informed decisions in the built environment space because they understand the function of architects and the value of architecture.” (Capire Workshop 1- Summary).
We congratulate Warwick Mihaly on his appointment as Chair of the working group for 2017. This year we are developing a breakthrough Advocacy project communicating the value of small practice Architects through transparency of information. The details of this exciting project will be released in the near future, so stay tuned. ArchiTeam is also working alongside Melbourne University on RASP (Research for Architects in Small Practice) to gather crucial research information pertinent to our field.
The Advocacy group had several positive outcomes in 2016, preparing letters of support for the Nightingale model of architect-led housing in Fairfield and Brunswick; as well as submitting a response and Press Release to the Better Apartments Draft Standards. We are looking for more members to assist with these grassroots actions in 2017. In addition, a core group of max. 6 members will be selected each year to work on the Key Project. If you would like to add your voice to our Advocacy group please send an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d like to thank our committed and passionate Advocacy volunteers to date:
“I’m part of the Advocacy for Architects working group where we are looking at how and what we can do to advocate for architects, whether it be our members or the broader community. It provides a forum for discussion of issues pertinent to our industry that as an individual it’s hard to get traction on, but as a collective, with our members behind us, it could go somewhere bigger.”– Claire Scorpo, Claire Scorpo Architects & ArchiTeam member
“Architecture doesn’t offer great wealth, and, as a small business owner, it doesn’t offer a stress-free life. But it does offer the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself.”– Warwick Mihaly, Mihaly Slocombe Architects & ArchiTeam member