Will work for shoes PART III

wilfredandenric_finished photo

Wilfred and Enric at last have opened the doors of the new shoe gallery!
More to come…


Transform – Altering the Future of Architecture

It’s been a long time between posts as I wait for a couple of projects to be completed, teaching winds up for another semester and life generally gets in the way of finishing a post, despite the drafts piling up…

BUT, Transform – the fantastic day long conference about ‘altering the future of architecture’ is certainly something someone interested in ‘redefining architectural practice’ would be remiss NOT to comment on. Especially as I actually even managed to be there.


So I have compiled my (and other’s) main thoughts (read *tweets*) from the day:

Privilege is invisible for those who have it. Dr Lori Brown

Consultation can be an exchange. Dr Lori Brown quoting MUF

We need to see opportunities to make change at all levels of practice. Shelley Penn

Do we acknowledge all the ways people practice architecture? Shelley Penn

Do you object to the term work/life balance? Everybody

Is change more likely to happen in good or bad economic times?

You have to have a life to be a good architect. Shelley Penn + Lee Hillam

Understanding where you are not so strong is the best path to leadership. William Dowzer

The channel has just been turned off on alternative modes of practising architecture, they have always been there. Dr Karen Burns

There has been a shift in the way we connect and collaborate. Sibling

What happens if we make our city domestic? Sibling

Someone has to be responsible for the soul of the city. Rory Hyde quoting someone I failed to note

Why don’t we have an award for best pro bono architecture or firm with the best gender equality? Dr Karen Burns

Should the development of the brief be part of core architectural services? question from the audience following presentation by Paula McCarthy

Perhaps class differences are a bigger issue than gender. Dr Karen Burns

One day I may even expand on these…If I group them that’s at least another 7 posts.
(and forgive me if I incorrectly attributed anyone).

Thank you so much Parlour for organising such a refreshingly open, honest and unpretentious investigation / discussion of what architecture is. And to everyone who partook for making it even more obvious that I am not alone.

Find our more about Parlour here http://www.archiparlour.org

In a quiet moment we were playing ‘Guess Who – Pritzker Prize’ on instagram:
‘Are you a woman?’
Put down 1.5 / 35 tiles

Pritzker Prize

Will work for shoes PART II

First site visit this morning at Wilfred and Enric Shoe Gallery. 
Originally a basement gallery space off Smith St Collingwood, we are playing with the idea of displaying the stock as pieces of art.

Existing main gallery (1024x765)Existing gallery space (1024x804)In Progress

The elements of the space are:
1. the entry – an internal shop front, signage and mannequins STAY TUNED
2. the light box
3. the long wall – a low shelf for shoes along the entire length of the wall STAY TUNED
4. the jewellery box
5. the bluestone wall
6. the main gallery
7. the lounge – for trying on shoes and relaxing STAY TUNED
8. the stockroom – hidden behind the bluestone wall
You can see the PLAN here W&E PLAN

light box (1024x800)In Progress SOMESLASHTHINGS BLOG rick owens 4 VEL (3)Inspiration
Rick Owens http://www.someslashthings.com/blog/tag/rick-owens
This 15m long light box will BLOW THE SPACE OUT

JEWELLERY BOX (1024x765)Existing
This will be a perforated metal clad moody black room in the centre of the space containing precious objects within.

bluestone wall (1024x765)Existing bluestone wall revealed (756x1024)In Progress
This has been revealed through demolition, it adds texture + depth to the space.

rachel-whiteread_b one hundred spacesInspiration
Rachel Whiteread http://pictify.com/5/rachel-whiteread-untitled-one-hundred-spaces
Here the stock will be displayed on custom designed and made plaster and 2pac plinths.
The unfixed nature of these display units means the shop gallery can be rearranged to showcase the latest stock or even stripped right away for a minimal space.

Heritage, Collaboration and Poo

I am not going to write about collaborating on an architectural project with a built outcome. I think most design professionals understand the benefits of not only working as part of a team but how exciting it is when people from different disciplines get together.

Earlier this month I was one of 3 guides on an Architours ‘architecture and heritage’ tour. We had designed the tour for the current National Trust Heritage Festival which officially runs from 18th April – 19th May.

Architours has always prided itself on having architects, an urban designer and a landscape architect as guides offering opinions and information from different backgrounds. For this tour though we also invited a heritage architect, Janet Beeston, along to join the team.

As luck would have it there was an archaeologist as a guest on the tour. But it got even better as she had excavated the Casselden Place site where the Urban Workshop was built. The Urban Workshop was a joint venture between John Wardle, NH Architecture and Hassel completed in 2006 and the last stop on our tour – couldn’t have planned it better!

Photo 6-04-13 3 55 40 PM (1024x764)

I really like this project. The way the new and old built form, remnants, artifacts and memory layer – from my own many nights in the late 90’s spent waiting in Little Leichhardt Lane to get into Club 44 to fantastical visions of a walled garden at the rear of Madame Brussels brothel housing politicians, prostitutes and peacocks on a warm February evening…

But no amount of research could have unearthed this classic story from Katherine, the archaeologist. A couple of 14-year-old girls were on the dig one day, unenthusiastic about being there and less than interested in the amazing circular pits (some timber barrels and other deeper bluestone circles) that were being revealed. They decided instead to spend the afternoon making face masks from the mud.

Yes, the circular pits were the old cesspits…

Sign up for the architecture + heritage tour on Saturday April 27th here:
Find out more about the National Trust festival here:
An article on the Urban Workshop by Dr Karen Burns can be read here:

(AND if ever you need to top up your wine glass collection it appears the resident pub does not clear its tables at the end of Friday night)

Will work for shoes

Practice Management question of the day:
‘Would you work for free or what is your price’?

As I flashed my new shoes around (part payment for a shoe shop I designed) we discussed what we would work for.


(nice huh?)

I really wanted to encourage an open dialogue among the students about what they would charge for student commissions, or even whether they would do them.  Having had no idea about this when first approached by an acquaintance of a friend (or relative, or just a relative, all right is was a car port for my mum and dad that never got built) I thought how much I would have appreciated some guidance and peer support at the time.

Most students were actually hesitant about doing their own commissions wanting to gain experience in a practice first.

However, when it came to payment were they to accept a commission, nearly all of them thought they should be paid for their efforts.  Their price ranged from $25-$40/hour.  In the end we thought perhaps a lump sum was a better way to frame fees when starting out.  This way you can invest as much time as you need / want to do the best you can.  Whether it takes you 50 or 200 hours is your choice.

Either way, a good starting point in is to be paid what you feel comfortable asking for. It might sound dumb, but if you can’t be confident asking to be paid then chances are you won’t be.

When in doubt think about what you earn as a waitress and charge at least that.

(What surprised me is they are earning the same in hospitality now as I did 15 years ago! Pity everything else has tripled in price.)

The Headshot or is a beautiful photo of me drinking champagne on the way to MONA an appropriate one?

Dr Katherine Hepworth gave an excellent lecture last week on “Online Identity”.  She was one of the guest lecturers in Kirsten Day and my Practice Management course for Interior Design at Swinburne University Melbourne.

There were many things she spoke about but one thing I had to blog was…


This is my ‘headshot’:


You may have seen it on the ‘about’ page of this blog, or my LinkedIn profile or various other places where I have been asked to provide a photo of myself.

According to the criteria of the lecture this is totally inappropriate and unprofessional.

And obviously it’s not a head shot.

SO for those who are interested, the rules of a professional headshot are as per following table (thank you Katherine): comments on my headshot in italics

What is a professional headshot?
Professional Unprofessional My Headshot
Passport or smiling Duck face I am definitely smiling – hell, I’m on a boat on a beautiful day on the way to Mona with my family and 4 of my best friends drinking champange…
Head and shoulders Body / hero shot No to former, yes to the latter (without the Hero part)
Sober Party shots Well it looks like a party for one, so I think I’m pretty safe saying ‘No’ to both
Daylight / office / studio lighting High or low contrast / arty lighting Yes / Yes (I had my phone with me) / No / No /No
Smart casual / office clothes ‘Off duty’ clothes There’s only one look with me
You, alone Cropped group shot YES!! I got one
No camera effects Instagram effects This is an uneditted photo
How to take a professional headshot
Find a friend with a fancy camera My dearest friend has always taken the best photos of anyone I’ve ever known with or without a fancy camera
Find a plain background No
Find some good lighting Doesn’t get better than a beautiful later spring day in Hobart I suspect?
Put on some plain, smart clothes in neutral colours Lucky I’m an architect
Set up the shot ‘Fraid not – totally candid
Ask your friend to take many photos Didn’t ask, but he did, and most involved more people and pink beanbags
Choose the best photo, and crop it. This is straight up, no editing, no cropping 
Distributing   your professional headshot
Upload it as your profile photo for all the social media you   will use professionally Now I think I might do this…so look out for me drinking champagne on twitter and instagram, too
Upload it to profile aggregators Might need to google this to refresh my memory

I spoke with Katherine after the lecture.  In a way I wanted validation of my ‘headshot’.

‘You’re not a 20-year-old student trying to get a job and be taken seriously and wanting potential employers to know you’re not out partying every night but can turn up to work.  The rules are different if you are in private or small practice, if you are established… It’s almost the opposite – you want people to see your personality, to connect with you as an individual’

(that is a very loose quote)

Phew…I’m not ready to change it yet.

What do you think?

What’s in a (sur)name

At last I started reading Rory Hyde’s ‘Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture’

IMG_4157 (598x800)

I am pleased to say I can quote something from the first paragraph of the Foreward by Dan Hill (I will read more, really):

Occupations were once so static we took our surnames from them

My last name is Freeman.
Perhaps my ancestors were slaves or convicts…
But I’d like to think they were redefining their practice even in the olden days.