“The most significant recent development in the field of architecture is the realization that software processes aren’t simply tools designed by software developers – they can become the very material from which designs are made.”


Suleiman Alhadidi  and Heather Mitcheltree recently presented their paper entitled “Performative Architectural Practice – Building Collaboration Platforms for Multidisciplinary Architecture Business” at AASA 9th International Conference 2016 – Project to Practice: Innovating Architecture in Sydney.

The paper discusses the changing landscape of architectural practice, the introduction of new design disciplines and the emergence of multidisciplinary architecture business models that are based on design performance.

The discussion covers the recent industry response to computational design and big data.  Triggered by recent planning requirments such as residential development in New South Wales, Australia , where the building orientation needs to be optimized to consider  NSW (SEPP 65) guidelines, relating to solar access values for occupants and AECOM’s SSIM modelling system which allows “designers, clients and the public to generate multiple development alternatives and understand the environmental and financial consequences when parameters are varied”.


The paper highlights a dilemma faced by current practices with regard to effectively combining technology teams within existing project design teams and the opportunities that this shifting paradigm brings.


The paper concludes by tabling a business approach for the ‘new design era’, focused around:

  • Multi-disciplinary bottom-up implementation
  • Pilot re-search projects
  • Hybrid practices and the architecture skill set mix required in the future
  • Internal and external collaborations and partnerships

The following image is an extract from the paper indicating:

  • Traditional architecture business model based on building design
  • Business model based on solution based architectural practice
  • Future business model based on development of extended business disciplines within architectural practice.