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Crowdfunding campaign launched for small-practice research

Architect membership association ArchiTeam Cooperative is calling for funding to establish a research program that will explore and quantify the value of small-practice architecture.

The Research for Architects in Small Practice (RASP) program will, through collaboration with academia and industry, build a body of research addressing issues affecting architects in small practices.

It will also seek to quantify the relevance of small practices, in a time when fee pressure and a sceptical public are making financial survival more difficult than ever.

“Every year it seems to get harder to get traction, harder to find work and keep it ticking along, and even harder to maintain rewarding practices in a culture that seems to expect high-value architecture without investing in the work it takes to create it,” ArchiTeam states in a crowdfunding campaign established for RASP. “We want to change this.”

RASP’s research methodology will be organized around a series of topics, with the first to be: “Do small practice architect-designed renovations improve capital gains in the Melbourne residential property market?”

This question will be addressed through a joint research project between ArchiTeam, the Melbourne School of Design and Dr Peter Raisbeck, the senior lecturer in architectural design practice at the University of Melbourne.

Raisbeck writes that the research will involve a “descriptive, comparative, quantitative analysis of two data pools. One pool will be based on sale data from architect-designed houses, and the other will contain sale data from non-architect designed houses. The data from each pool will be aggregated, analysed, and compared.”

Early research results and analysis will be made available to the ArchiTeam board and ArchiTeam members, then released to the broader public, with Raisbeck and ArchiTeam conducting a CPD session presenting the research findings at the conclusion of the project.

ArchiTeam has set a budget of $27,820 for the first project, with funds primarily covering employment of the researcher and research assistants. The association has pledged $5,000 to the project and is looking to crowd source the remainder of the money.

The crowdfunding campaign for the project was launched at the Melbourne School of Design on 21 June. At the time of writing, $1,811 had been pledged, with 54 days to go.

ArchiTeam expects the research for the first topic to be completed within 14 weeks of commencement. Further topics will be decided on through consultation with ArchiTeam members.

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