Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

If you’ve been in or around the building and design industries for a while, you’ll know that some tight regulations bound the Architectural profession. Eligibility for registration, classes of registration and disciplinary proceedings for Architects are all heavily regulated and legislated under the Architect Registration Boards of each Australian State and Territory.
But did you know that the use of the word architect – in a variety of contexts – is also legislated? 
While it may be tempting to use descriptors like ‘architectural design‘ and ‘interior architecture‘ in your marketing, you could get yourself in all kinds of trouble if you’re misusing the terms in your jurisdiction.
While the following certainly can’t be deemed legal advice, it may help point you in the right direction to ensure you’re playing by the rules. If you require greater interpretation of any of the statements, we strongly recommend you seek advice from the relevant state Board of Architects or a legal practitioner.

New South Wales

The NSW Architects Registration Board investigates reports of person or entities illegally representing themselves or others as architects, as set out in Sections 9 and 10 of the Architects Act 2003. Examples of terms that fall under their definition of ‘representing as an architect’ include:
  • use of the title ‘architect’ or ‘registered architect’
  • use of the description architectural services, architectural design or architectural designer by an individual
  • use of any derivatives of the word ‘architect’ or ‘architectural’ by an individual or firm, and
  • use of the term ‘architectural design’ as a description of services provided by a firm that does not have a nominated architect
Learn more about the NSW Architects Registration Board and the relevant Act here:


The Board of Architects of Queensland sets out a long list of prescribed titles and words in the Architects Regulation 2019 (QLD). The Act declares that a person who is not a registered practising architect must not use ‘architectural services’, ‘architectural design services’ or ‘architectural design’ to advertise or otherwise promote their services. In addition, the Act outlines a very comprehensive list of additional titles and terms, including but not limited to:
  • architectural
  • architectural experience
  • architectural planning and design
  • interior architecture

South Australia

The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia states:
The title Architect is a valuable and prestigious one, earned only after demonstration of high levels of competence and knowledge. For that reason, use of the title is restricted by legislation. 
The Architectural Practice Act 2009 states that ‘a person must not, in the course of advertising or promoting a service that he or she, or a partnership in which he or she is a partner, provides, use a prescribed word, or its derivatives, to describe a person who is engaged in the provision of the service or the partnership if the person or partnership is not a registered architect or registered architectural business, as the case requires‘. 
[Note: according to the Act, prescribed word means (a) architect or (b) any other word or expression prescribed by the regulations.]
The act does not prohibit a person using the title of ‘landscape architect’, ‘naval architect’ or ‘computer systems architect’. With respect to interior architecture, the APBSA sets out the following FAQ and response in their Guidance Note:
Q: Can I use the title ‘Interior Architect’ if I have a Bachelor of Interior Architecture? 
A: No, this would be an offence against the Architectural Practice Act 2009. You can refer to yourself as an ‘Interior Designer’. 
You can read the full Guidance Note 2 (Use of the title “Architect” and its derivatives) here:



The Board of Architects of Tasmania makes their position very clear, stating:
Examples of titles and descriptions that should NOT be used by persons who are not registered as architects in accordance with the Act include:
  • “Architect”
  • Any other word or combination of letters that sounds or looks like the word “architect”.
  • Any derivative of that term such as “architecture” or “architectural” if used in a way that indicates or may indicate to the public that a person in respect of whom it is used is registered or entitled or qualified to be registered as an architect if that person is not so registered or qualified
  • “Graduate Architect” or “Architectural Graduate”
Learn more about this Board and its guidelines here:


In Victoria, the Architects Act 1991 (current as at 28 July 2020) states that a person must not represent himself or herself to be an architect and must not allow himself or herself to be represented as an architect unless he or she is registered as an architect under the same Act. It also sets out the following with respect to particular expressions:
Restriction on use of particular expressions 
(1)  A person or body (other than a person who is registered as an architect under this Act or an approved partnership or an approved company) must not use any of the terms “architectural services”, “architectural design services” or “architectural design” in relation to— 
(a)  the design of buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body; or 
(b)  the preparation of plans, drawings or specifications for buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body. 
The Act in its entirety can be viewed here:

Western Australia

The Architects Board of Western Australia stipulates clear regulations with respect to the protection of the title ‘Architect’. Their Info Sheet 22 (dated 9 October 2019) states:
Restricted Words 
In WA, the words “architect”, “architects”, “architectural”, “architecture”, and any abbreviation or derivative of these words are restricted words under the Act. This means that only individuals registered by the Board, and corporations licensed by the Board, can use a restricted word as part of their title, business name or description. 
The Info Sheet is a clear and concise document that would be a valuable resource for designers keen to ensure their marketing is not misrepresentative in any way. View the full paper here:


The Architects Act 2004 (effective 10 December 2019) defines architectural service as ‘a service provided in connection with the design, planning or construction of buildings that is ordinarily provided by architects’. The Act sets out several offences, including (but not limited to):
Firm offering architectural services without nominee 
(1) A corporation must not offer an architectural service unless the corporation has a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units. 
(2) Each partner in a partnership commits an offence if— 
(a) the partnership offers an architectural service; and 
(b) the partnership does not have a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.
Unregistered individual advertising 
(1) An individual commits an offence if— 
(a) the individual advertises that the individual provides, or will provide, an architectural service; and 
(b) the individual is not registered. 
Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units. 
(2) An offence against this section is a strict liability offence.
Provision of architectural services by third party 
A person commits an offence if— 
(a) the person offers an architectural service to be provided by someone else; and 
(b) the provider of the service is not a registered architect; and 
(c) the person is reckless about whether the provider is a registered architect.
Learn more about the ACT Architects Board here:

As indicated above, this article should not be considered legal advice. If you’re unsure about how the relevant Act can be applied or legislated in your jurisdiction, we recommend you contact your State or Territory Board of Architects or a legal practitioner. 

PD Thursday | Marketing Q & A

PD Thursday | Marketing Q & A

Thursday | 17 September 2020 | 4pm AEST

Our last PD session with Linda Reed-Enever highlighted that our Members have many (MANY) questions about the ins and outs of successful marketing. We’ve invited Linda back for an open floor session, and encourage you to hit us with your hardest marketing questions. Add your query to the registration form, and we’ll do our best to provide an A to your Q during the session. Priority answers will be given to those who are joining the live event, so add it to your calendar now. (Oh, and we will obviously take questions from the floor, too, so be camera ready if you have a particular marketing question for this communications queen.)

About the Presenter

Publicist and Marketing Consultant Linda Reed-Enever lives and breathes publicity and has a passion for connecting everything from people to ideas. Linda is the Principal Director at ThoughtSpot PR and Founder of Media Connections and Business Business Business. With her ‘can do’ attitude and entrepreneurial spirit, she inspires and motivates as she connects people and opportunity. Linda’s innate ability to network and think on her feet has positioned her as a dynamic leader and ‘go-to girl’ in the communications and marketing arena.

Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for Members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Become a KBDi Member here.

Features and benefits of solid surfaces

Features and benefits of solid surfaces

As we look for ways to impress and service our clients, it’s essential to be informed about the features, benefits and design considerations of a wide range of products. With an in-depth knowledge of surfaces and materials, you’ll be better placed to extend your design potential in kitchen and bathroom design. In our new Design Bulletins, we’re helping you build a bank of references to start your material investigations. In this month’s product highlight bulletin, we’ve partnered with Austaron Surfaces to outline the features and benefits of Staron® Solid Surfaces.

The Bulletin summarises how solid surfaces can be used in all kinds of kitchen and bathroom applications. It outlines the key considerations you need to make when designing with solid surfaces, including support and structural requirements, designing with pattern and selecting colours. Most importantly, this handy cheat-sheet sets out the compliance and warranties associated with the product, making it an invaluable resource for all good designers.

Members can access this Design Bulletin (along with our full suite of Technical and Business Bulletins) in our exclusive Members Portal. Simply click on the Members Portal tab at the top of your screen and log in to your account. (If you’ve not yet registered for an account, this process is straightforward: simply complete the details where prompted and we’ll set you up.)

Not yet a KBDi Member but keen to learn more? Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.

PD Thursday | Product Highlight: Staron Solid Surfaces

PD Thursday | Product Highlight: Staron Solid Surfaces

Thursday | 25 June 2020 | 4pm AEST

Solid Surfaces offer an impressive range of features and benefits for domestic applications. In this special product highlight session, Austaron’s Belinda Worden will walk you through the ways in which Staron Solid Surfaces can add both user-friendly practicality and inspiring design flexibility to your kitchen and bathroom creations. Belinda will share the key considerations you’ll need to make when specifying and designing with solid surfaces, and answer any questions you have about the application of the product in residential design.


Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Become a KBDi Member here.

Rangehood ducting

Rangehood ducting

Selecting a new rangehood can be a challenging process for you and your clients. The aesthetics of a kitchen, the cooking styles of the homeowner (and their cooktop preferences), the height of the ceilings and proportions of the space will all play a part in the decision-making. A good understanding of the practical and legislative requirements associated with these appliances is essential, too, and will help you guide your clients towards a solution with optimum air extraction capabilities and minimum health and safety implications.

(Note: establishing a strong relationship with a knowledgeable, up-to-date appliance retailer is highly recommended. A proactive sales representative will be well-informed of the pros and cons of a broad range of appliances, and be an asset to you and your clients.)

In this Member-only technical bulletin, we’re setting out the two primary types of extraction used in domestic kitchens, and summarising the relevant legislation applicable to Australian dwellings. Complete the form below and we’ll send you the bulletin asap.

Photographing kitchens and bathrooms

Photographing kitchens and bathrooms

If a picture says a thousand words, a perfect photograph could tell an awful lot about your work as a designer.

We would usually recommend that you engage a professional designer to photograph your best projects – an investment in a suite of high-quality images for award entries, website and social media promotion will always pay off. But if doing so is proving impossible right now, we’ve got a few tips to help you DIY some (almost) perfect pics.

Top Five Tips for Perfect Pics

1. Get the Gear
A smartphone helps to make photography convenient, and the spontaneous nature of a phone-captured snap is often perfect for a social media platform. When you’re collating a website gallery, however, you’ll need to up the ante. If engaging a professional photographer is out of the question, investing in a decent camera will be money well spent. You’ll need a camera that will allow you to control exposure, and a good quality wide-angle lens to capture the overall interior. A tripod is a must-have, too (for an SLR or smartphone): no matter how steady a hand you think you have, you don’t, and you’ll end up with blurry images without this handy tool.

2. Consider the Outcome
What story are you hoping to tell with your photographs? What is it you are trying to capture, or what is the emotion you are trying to evoke? What do you want to tell viewers about your design style, and how can you best showcase it? Knowing the intention or outcome of your photos will help you when it comes to staging the room and choosing the best angles and perspective.

3. Set the Scene
When staging a room for photographing, remember that you want the interior to look lived in – not vacant (nothing says vacant like an empty fridge cavity!), but not cluttered (exposed wastebaskets, telephones excessive cords etc. are distracting). Tasteful accent pieces – a proportionately sized floral arrangement, a cheese platter and/or semi-filled wine glass – will add to the feeling of the room without grabbing attention for all the wrong reasons. In bedrooms, remove clutter from bedside tables (a lamp and book are sufficient) and ensure the bed is perfectly made. In the bathroom, be wary of what is reflected in the mirror, and avoid showing off the toilet! Ensure shower screens are perfectly clean, and towels are complementary in colour.

4. Lighten Up
The human eye is capable of adjusting to almost any light temperature, whether it’s the warm yellow of a halogen, the crisp white of a cool LED, or the dull green of a fluorescent. A camera, on the other hand, is not so clever. When it comes to interior photography, natural light is the best option, so as a general rule, turn all the lights off. If the light coming through the window is insufficient, slow down the shutter speed to allow for a long exposure (this is when a tripod will come in particularly handy) – your camera will be able to pick up whatever light exists in the room, and you will be able to avoid using artificial light or your camera’s flash, which often has ghastly results.
It should be noted that direct sunlight can be too harsh – ambient light is what you’re after. If necessary, use blinds or curtains to diffuse the light.

5.Angles & Perspective
Consider the room you are photographing from all angles. If you need to move items to get the best angle (furniture, pot plants, etc.) – do so! If you need to photograph the room from an adjoining space – through a door or opening – no one will know but you. Take photos of the overall area, and zoom in for vignette-style details.

If you’re already handy with a camera, you may have some other tips to share…? If you do, feel free to add your two cents’ worth below – your fellow designers will appreciate it!