Work to live, or live to work – is the answer either, or?

21 November 2018
The ‘purpose-driven’ business model is the answer to achieving both
Master of Architecture graduate, Jessica Bradley, to travel to Melbourne, Berlin and Amsterdam to investigate how purpose-driven business can be applied to an architectural practice.
Portrait photo of Jessica Bradley

My research project
Work to live, or live to work 
– is the answer either, or? The ‘purpose-driven’ business model is the answer to achieving both. A ‘purpose driven’ business is founded on the values and ethics it holds rather than exclusively through financial ambition. Therefore, the success of the business may likewise be studied through a combination of both financial and philosophical success. 

My proposal investigates the practical implementation of purpose upon a company that is defined by its principles. I intend to travel to Melbourne, Berlin and Amsterdam, conducting interviews with individuals across businesses that identify as ‘purpose driven,’ to gain insight across a broad range of disciplines. This knowledge will be used to inform a practical approach specifically suitable for applying to the architectural profession. 

My contribution to the architectural profession and community
My report will provide practical, evidence based information for small-medium sized architectural practices, focusing on the implementation of a purpose-driven business. If both the financial and ethical successes of a purpose driven business can be demonstrated as viable, more companies may adopt this model, thus creating a greater impact for change, including broader implications on consumerism, capitalism and society.  It is hoped that the standard industry model will evolve towards an improved engagement with and impact on, the community.

My future
I am a registered architect and director of an emerging architecture practice, Bradley Architects for Sustainable Environments (BASE). In this role, I experience first-hand the complexities of challenging the standard business model which focuses on profit and growth of the company. It is difficult and overwhelming to prioritise innovation within a capitalist structure concurrent to running a successful and profitable business. This scholarship provides the opportunity to build upon my education, and to engage with an international network of individuals and companies that share similar philosophies.