The Past-Harry Seidler

A short (1500 word maximum) illustrated report, newspaper article or press release on the work and operations of a particular historical architectural practice, framed within an appropriately correct medium for the time in which the practice worked.

This assignment is intended to extend your explorations into the issues involved in the establishment and management of architectural practices and how these issues and attendant organisational responses might influence the work produced. If the first assignment looked at the present in terms of practice, this second assignment looks at the past. The product of the assignment will be a position paper (in a suitable media) as well as a short verbal and AV presentation of Harry Seidler.

Having Harry Seidler, you will then engage in research to discover the following:

1.practice type (sole trader, partnership, company)

2. Practice size (people and typical project size)

3. Practice structure and organisation

4. Project operational structure (how projects were staffed and run)

Clients (what was the client base, where did projects come from)

Specialisations and/or areas of key focus

7.Marketing and media, promotion and awards.

8. Technologies and innovation

9. Approaches to professional bodies, qualifications and legislation

10. Involvement in the Academy, and in the dissemination of the profession

11. Personal and professional ambitions.

12.Divergence and difference – what set this practice apart?

Ensure you do research into not simply history, but also historical records, to better understand the context within which the practice worked. For example, journals, newspapers or other media contemporary with the practice should be reviewed to gain an understanding of how information was both gathered and disseminated. As secondary sources, you might rely on biographical or autobiographical sources to define the character and issues.
As will be discussed in the tutorials, consider your media and presentation techniques. You will need to provide societal background to the firm or individual you are profiling to create a complete picture of their operations. You may also need to expand the profile of the individual or the description of the context further to create a suitably detailed narrative. The aim is not to provide a historical record of the time, but rather to illuminate how the particular practice in question operated with the constraints and opportunities available.
Ensure you understand the language and style of the period in which you are operating, and let this inform both the method and content of your presentation. Avoid overt reliance on obviously contemporary techniques and technologies; instead, you should present the practice in the manner in which its own contemporaries, colleagues and clients might understand it.

The history of the world, nations and societies and the formative cultural, political and economic forces within them that shape architectural design and production. Popular media, biographies, anthologies, architecture magazines, legends and other historical records.


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