When we first sat down together in late 2018 we had only a vague idea of what our nascent group might achieve. We were painfully aware of many of the challenges faced by small practices working today, but also of the problems facing the wider industry: long hours, low pay, a lack of diversity and declining design and construction quality, among many others. It seemed apparent that a confidential forum where like-minded practices could discuss common concerns would be invaluable, but we soon wondered how we might use our collective influence to campaign for wider reform. A product of this discussion was the “ethical charter” which we are launching today.

The LPF “Principles & Ethical Charter” is the product of a year-long discussion between the twenty-one members of the forum. We know it’s not perfect: it is the product of much discussion and compromise. Many interesting and provocative ideas were put forward and discarded along the way. But collectively we believe that this is the beginning of a journey rather than the conclusion, and this charter presents an idea of how, as we enter a new decade, we might act together to address some of the challenges faced by small practices and wider society.

It is not carved in stone. We expect to revise and update this regularly to ensure that it remains both relevant and aspirational. The environment in which we work is changing constantly―our commitments to each other, and the communities in which we operate, should adapt accordingly.

Particular thanks must go to Hari Phillips and Jay Morton of Bell Phillips Architects who were instrumental in putting the bones of this document together. Thanks too to We Made That for its provocative “What We Won’t Do” which played a key part in the discussion. And most of all, thanks to the members of the LPF who have invested considerable time and energy over the last fourteen months.

We welcome comments and suggestions from others who share our concerns about the state of the profession and want to help work to improve it for the future. Please get in touch by emailing hello@practiceforum.london.