Caroline Pidcock

In our latest episode of How to Build a Better World, managing editor of The Fifth Estate, Tina Perinotto, speaks to Caroline Pidcock, an award-winning Australian architect and advocate for sustainable design.

Caroline has been pouring much of her energy into the Australian branch of Architects Declare as the group’s spokesperson, which involves working out how architects should respond to the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

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  1. In response to Caroline Picock’s comment within the podcast when discussing the build quality of some recently completed high-rise projects, that “architects don’t get involved in construction” – I believe this is not a fair reflection of architects’ involvement in large commercial projects. The discussion neglected to mention that large commercial projects are typically delivered through design and construct contracts whereby the architect may be novated to work for the builder from the design development stage onwards, rather than the client, and thus is answerable to the builder for the contradictory demands of cost, time and quality. In other applications of design and construct contracts an architect may be engaged for concept design with another architect engaged for the latter stages leading to construction. These contractual arrangements are usually combined with compressed design and construction programmes whereby the documentation stage overlaps the construction sequence. As an architect myself who spent ten years working on large commercial projects I can say that it is simply not the case that “architects don’t get involved in construction”. Caroline Pidcock goes on to say that “architects’ skills are not what they used to be”. This broad statement is grossly unfair to architects and no justification is provided for this statement in the discussion, nor is the context and contractual arrangements of present day commercial architecture described.