The architects’ cooperative, ArchiTeam has called on its members and supporters to fund “essential and long overdue” research into small practice architecture.

The Research for Architects in Small Practice (RAsP) program aims to build a body of research to better understand the increasing challenges affecting small practice architects such as fee pressure and competitiveness in the marketplace.  

A joint research project between ArchiTeam and the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne, the first research topic aims to examine the financial impact of architect-designed renovations through the question: “Do small practice architect designed renovations improve capital gains in the Melbourne residential property market?”

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. Descriptive statistics, as well as correlation and regression analysis, will be employed to compare the two pools. 

Early research results and analysis will be made available to the ArchiTeam board and ArchiTeam members, then released to the broader public.

Dr Peter Raisbeck and ArchiTeam will conduct a Continuing Professional Development session presenting the research findings at the conclusion of the project.

Further RAsP research topics will come through consultation with ArchiTeam members. Initial research themes around legal issues, client demographics, and business models, have been discussed.

The crowdfunding campaign launched on Australian crowdfunding site, Pozible, offers a number of rewards for contributors, including a seat on the Big Architects Bus to visit Daylesford Long House by Timothy Hill, a Coy Yiontis House Tour, and a private walking Architour for the winner plus 10 colleagues, plus $100 on the tab at your favourite bar.

“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,” says the membership organisation of 650+ small practice architects. 

RAsP’s first research topic needs $22,820 to proceed. At the time of writing almost $13,000 had been raised with only 7 days left for the campaign to run. 

“Without the support of our community, it is very unlikely RAsP will gain the funding it needs to go ahead,” says ArchiTeam.

For more information, see the RAsP promotional video.