ASSESSMENT ITEM III: MODEL PRACTICES – Or: Starting to plan your own Architecture business or Architecture practice, ethically and responsibly to the planet, your city, your profession, and your people, collaborators and clients

In this assessment item you are to assume you are starting your own business. You need to develop a practice model and describe how you might respond to key aspects of practice based in part on the lectures across the semester and in your own research.

In this task you need to think about communicating not design ideas but ideas about practice:

  • How might you respond to future opportunities?
  • Which challenges, which clients, which creative collaborators will you partner with?
  • Which values will you embrace and foreground as you move into practice and industry?

You will do this by developing a sequence of slides that could be used to introduce your firm to colleagues and pitch your approach to prospective clients.

You are encouraged to sketch out in process ideas in tutorials and you will have the opportunity to pitch your firm to your Tutorial Group to further hone your practice thinking and communication skills prior too submitting.


Your submission should include:

Slide 1: Overview – name and brief description of the kind of firm including the kind of clients, services you provide, and

                your key collaborators (max 200 words)

Slide 2: Firm philosophy or design ethos or business ethos and organisational model/structure (sole practitioner, collaborative firm, partnership, not for profit, other) (max 200 words)

Slides 3 – 6, or 3 – 10 if 2 slides each: Select 4 topics out of the following topics and develop 1 or at most 2 slides for each topic, maximum 200 words per page per topic:

  • Project or service type: if your firm specialises in a certain project type (residential; commercial; hospitality; adaptive reuse; public open space; multi residential; university fit out; government department fit out; health care; other) or specific construction or project management services, set out on this slide the nature of that project and why you’re good at it; what values you bring to the project, why important, which kinds of design principles?
  • The Team. If your firm and your collaborators are an important/unique part of your firm, describe the Team here.  It doesn’t have to be individuals but could be kinds of collaborators: heritage consultants, civil engineers, social scientist, landscape architect, economist, quantity surveyor, artist, polity expert, etcetera
  • Construction codes, planning codes: the social contract: built environment practice as a social enterprise, one which including building controls, planning controls, and a responsibility to contribute to addressing sustainability.  If your firm wants to champion this aspect, here’s a chance to highlight it.
  • Climate change: how your practice addresses climate change and loss of bio diversity.  You could refer to specific projects
  • Social sustainability: If your firm is also about public consultation and helping public and not for profit entities, talk about how you might do that
  • Sustainable Design: perhaps your firm will be a leader in sustainable design: why is it important and which services does your firm provide (You might refer for example to ACUMEN practice note on marketing ESD skills as one way to approach this , though there are many ways to approach)
  • Multi disciplinary/Plan, Design, Build: If your firm does it all – plans, designs, documents, builds – then here’s a chance to sell it;
  • Expert client: perhaps your service is to provide project services at all phases to your clients: you develop the brief, engage specialist consultants, prepare order of cost estimates
  • Other: if there is another distinctive aspect of your firm you want to highlight, here’s the chance to do it.

Slide x (last slide): List the source of images if not your own or other references if cited.


  • This assessment can be done either individually or as a pair with someone from within your Tutorial Group.
  • Visuals are encouraged: they could be aspirational projects or select images from your in-progress studio or past university work that illustrate certain of the values and principles you consider important to your firm.
  • Format: A4 landscape orientation
  • Length: 6 pages minimum, 10 pages maximum, plus a final page of references if the images used are not your own or you’ve cited something.
  • Submission format: single PDF format file
  • Include your name (or names if a pair) and student number on the first slide
  • Submitted online to Canvas by the Deadline.
  • Note: if a pair, both team members need to submit to Acumen the same file
  • Depending on tutorial numbers, optional 3-5 minute presentation in your Tutorial session: NOTE a presentation is not assessable but a great way to hone your thinking and your communication skills.
  • Sourced images (not your own) must be referenced as noted above


The Assessment will be assessed holistically against the following:

  • Demonstrated understanding of relevant content
  • Depth or development of discussion
  • Clarity and coherence of the ideas and their communication include use of visual material
  • Appropriate standard of writing and presentation (coherent sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation)

The following sets out the indicative submission

template slides for reference only:

SLIDE: OVERVIEW – a brief description of the kind of firm including the kind of clients, services you provide, your key collaborators  (0-max 200 words)               Student name, Student number somewhere on this first slide  
SLIDE: TOPIC A (0-max 200 words)
SLIDE: TOPIC B (0-max 200 words)
SLIDE: TOPIC C (0-max 200 words)
SLIDE: TOPIC D (0-max 200 words)
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeDemonstrated understanding of relevant content25 Pts Full marks 0 Pts No marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeCoherence and cohesion of the ideas and their communication25 Pts Full marks 0 Pts No marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeDepth or development of the proposal25 Pts Full marks 0 Pts No marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeAppropriate standard of writing and presentation25 Pts Full marks 0 Pts No marks25 pts
Total points: 100

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