Watch our special presentation of the initial findings of the major research project, the Wellbeing of Architects culture, identity + practice, with Naomi Stead, Tracey Shea and Byron Kinnaird.

Parlour is delighted to present a discussion of the initial findings from the Wellbeing of Architects research project. Naomi Stead, Byron Kinnaird and Tracey Shea outline preliminary findings with a focus on the dissemination of the data collected in the major practitioner survey.

These rich and insightful presentations raise many important questions about the connections between wellbeing and low fees, long hours and the reduced standing of architects within the wider construction industry. Some of the themes raised include the acknowledgement of “positive stress”, the difference between “positive” and “negative” perfectionism, the unproductive blame shifting between academia and practice, and the need for collective action on issues that impact on wellbeing.

Naomi Stead opens the conversation with an introduction to the research project and the work thus far. With a dataset of more than 2,000 respondents and a good whole-of-career sample, she described the data as providing “a firm evidence base to advance the conversation about whether there are issues with work-related wellbeing in architecture amongst practitioners and students”.

Byron Kinnaird takes us through the data, unpacking some of the preliminary findings about gender, career experience, unpaid caring responsibilities, reasons for career breaks, and satisfaction with remuneration, followed by Tracey Shea’s discussion of correlations and comparisons to the wider Australian community.

One of the most compelling (and shocking) findings is the direct comparison of subjective quality of life measures to Australian norms. It’s clear that architects are significantly worse off than the Australian norm when it comes to standard of living, health, feelings of achievement, and future security.

Anecdotal evidence of long hours and unpaid overtime was borne out in the results, with more than a third of respondents working more than their contracted hours, and 8% working more than 55 hours. The frequency of working long hours was also shockingly high. As Naomi comments, “We have a distressed workforce. It’s quite clear.”

It is still early days with this in-depth scholarly research project, with further interviews, focus groups and follow-up surveys planned over the next two years. An important focus for the project will be the development of practical, applied interventions to address and improve wellbeing outcomes.

If you enjoy the video and are not purchasing access to the CPD questions, please consider donating to support Parlour’s ongoing work.


1 formal point on completion of the CPD questions – a link will be sent after you purchase access below.

Once completed, you will receive an email with your responses. This provides the evidence of attendance and completion for the session named at the top of this document. Please keep the response email for your records. It counts as your certificate. (If you can’t find the email remember to check your spam folder.)


$10, or $5 concession

Please book below. (If the form doesn’t work on your device, head to the Parlour trybooking page.)

This session was recorded online on October 15, 2021. You can also watch our brief video updates on the project so far.