BD Opinion Piece
Matthew's BD Opinion Piece: How did architecture become such a poorly paid profession?
Matthew Lloyd Architects Architecture In The Time Of Covid Opinion Building Design
How did architecture become such a poorly paid profession and what can we do about it?
The profession must consolidate and specialise to address challenges around low fees and pay.

There is much to celebrate about the success of the UK’s architectural industry. All the evidence suggests that the buildings we design today are better than ever. It is no surprise then that architects’ dissatisfaction nowadays is not about our work, instead, it is about our pay. In the distant past, architecture ranked equally in terms of income with the ‘senior’ professions of finance, accountancy, law, and medicine. Architects have fallen far behind.

Nevertheless, there is room for optimism about the future of our pay.
Read here
This profession is without doubt rewarding, creative, flexible and can bring a whole lifetime of fulfilling work. These are unusual and not to be undervalued benefits in today’s jobs market. Architecture is a vocation about creativity and passion. But these privileges and freedoms come at the price of our comparatively low pay.
Matthew Lloyd — Opinion | The poorly paid profession
In praise of contractors
Construction is science but also a complex art.

Today the building industry is very different than in even the recent past, finally aware of just how much responsibility it carries. There is a sense of intense discipline among site operatives, yet this doesn't seem to make for unhappy workplaces. From my experience this is an increasingly impressive industry, well regulated, well managed – and most certainly now a respectable one.

Matthew reflects on the role and responsibilities of contractors and the challenges of realising a building project.
Read here
Building to me is a magical process. Next time we have a moan about a ‘cowboy’ industry, let’s try to appreciate what it actually takes to make a building and how many challenges stand in the way to getting this done.
Matthew Lloyd — Opinion | In praise of contractors
In praise of our planning system
Planners have shaped our cities, towns and countryside in the modern era, through development and use zoning, through control of height and massing, through the balancing of density, through the regulation and protection of our historic buildings and contexts, and through the placement and location of public facilities and amenities.

Our planning system is often questioned, challenged, and resented. Matthew reflects on what it does well, the benefits it brings to our buildings and to our communities, and the challenges that the system and local planning authorities face.
Read here
Our planning officers should be seen as heroes and not villains... controlling and administering the hugely complex world of planning is difficult, skilled and demanding work. The higher the quality threshold, the better our buildings will be.
Matthew Lloyd — Opinion | In praise of our planning system
Does the changing regulatory environment provide an opportunity to look again at fee scales?
Matthew reflects on the contemporary context of architectural practice in relation to regulation, competition, and specifically the need for a guidance framework regards professional fees - for clients as much as for architects.

Once upon a time there was a useful little yellow book in our office: the RIBA’s A Client’s Guide to Engaging an Architect Including Guidance on Fees. The clue to the name of the little yellow book was guidance for clients on fees. Not guidance for architects on fees, so that we can all then undercut each other and then undercut the undercutting.
Read here
The regulatory environment we work within now is also unrecognisable since the days of the yellow booklet. Keeping up with it all amounts to a heavy additional workload. Architecture is increasingly technical. We are required to have greater knowledge and are held more accountable on a bigger number of fronts. We need more than ever to be properly resourced to do our work.
Matthew Lloyd — Opinion | Is this the time to reopen the debate on fee scales?
Matthew Lloyd Architects Riba Award Winning Homes
21st Century Houses: RIBA Award-Winning Homes
Matthew breaks down a new RIBA book on award-winning homes, noting that 'as an architectural reader, I was immediately desperate to see a plan drawing to understand how it all worked'.

Nevertheless, the book is a quality production 'aimed squarely at the public, rather than we architects ourselves' and illustrating a broad swathe of architectural approaches to designing a home across the UK.
Read here
Why the architectural profession needs to talk more openly about race - with Pedro Gil
A conversation between Pedro Gil and Matthew Lloyd about race in architecture and practice.

There’s an academic term called ‘colourism’, that the darker your skin tone is on the spectrum the harder things are... From a global north or European perspective, the psychological image of a person of authority, i.e. an architect, a lawyer or a doctor, is a white man, maybe middle aged, maybe middle class. This is what people are screening for, for example when there’s a job advert.

We all need to get more comfortable talking about race. This is not a taboo subject. We’ve got a long way to go as a society, not just as architects, to get more comfortable talking about this. It is completely OK to call me, or someone of Black heritage, a Black architect. Or a Sikh architect or a Pakistani architect – in fact I think it’s good as it broadens that conversation. You do not need permission to talk about this.

"You’ve heard of the term global majority? 85% of the world’s population is non-white. Therefore, the term ethnic minority is numerically incorrect. So our practice is 100% global majority, made up of East Asian, African and from South American representation. My vision is that one day 15% of our practice will be white, to represent the actual global minority.' - Pedro Gil
Read here
Matthew Pedro
Building study: House in Leconfield Road by vPPR
A private house extension in north London revels in the play of light and materials and reminds us of the power architecture has to lift up our daily lives.

I got a nice surprise. This turns out to be a beautifully judged conversion and extension by vPPR architects, with a notable and perhaps unique side-extension sawtooth roof design. This is personal architecture.

Building study, 21st June 2022
Read here
Matthew Lloyd Architects Architecture In The Time Of Covid Opinion Building Design Building Study Vppr Leconfield Road 02
Design better, specify better and consume more carefully – that’s my (not so) radical idea
Our dependence on an everything-we-want-whenever-we-want-it approach, is harming our world: this is as true for construction as it is for consumerism. While we should all be taking action in order to preserve our planet, direct action is actually rather less effective than well-placed words if we want to drive real and lasting change.

"I admire radical protestors who make us look up: our values would be far poorer without brave interventionists. But we need to be very wise now to deliver actual change. Otherwise, our industry will spend its time lost in a fog of slogans."

18th May 2022
Read here
The desire to rebuild is urgent and powerful
Amid the devastation of Ukraine the desire to rebuild is urgent and powerful. Despite the awful human suffering and pointless destruction, there is a sense of solidarity and collective desire about the global response that brings hope for a better future.

31st March 2022
Read here
The future of housing
On the quality of housing, now and moving forward 'If the future of housing is huge blocks of flats, now is the moment to get our approach right'.

2nd March 2022
Read here
Twelve reasons to be an architect
Matthew presents his antidote to the January blues and 'falls in love with the with the profession all over again' (BD online)

18th January 2022
Read here
If our training is changing, that must be a good thing
Matthew reflects on the state of architectural education, and the drivers of change

29th November 2021
Read here
The rise and rise of big practice
A commentary on the role and responsibilities of 'Big Practice' in the evolving context of the contemporary architectural profession.

19th October 2021
Read here
Architecture in the time of Covid
The first of Matthew's new monthly series in Building Design has just gone live, titled 'Architecture in the time of Covid'.

13th September 2021
Read here