Design in a changing world

Design in a changing world

Property Australia, Issue: February 2013

It wouldn’t be easy to switch to a four-day week as a cost cutting measure, but when, at the height of the GFC, the firm was confronted with the choice between shedding staff or taking a pay cut, the staff at Allen Jack+Cottier (AJ+C) opted for the latter.

It’s a situation that enters a conversation with Peter Ireland, principal at AJ+C, when discussing the challenges facing the architecture profession. While business has now picked up and the firm is currently busy on several projects, particularly student housing, Ireland says the GFC certainly had an impact.

Before making changes, Ireland and principal Michael Heenan called a staff meeting to discuss how they would deal with the fallout.

“It was an important meeting because the inherent strength of the pace was there,” Ireland says. “Everyone was willing to have less money to keep everyone together.”

The measure was effective at the time , and worked well, given there wasn’t a high volume of projects, adds Ireland. but it was temporary, and the firm is now back on a full time schedule.