Art vs science | InForm
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Art vs science

  • Photography: Harrison Moss
  • Text: Lucinda McKimm
A great relationship between architect and builder is key to a successful outcome. We often discuss the healthy tension that exists between InForm and Pleysier Perkins arising from the contrasting philosophies of art versus science.

The architects are highly creative, and their work is driven by producing the best possible designs for our clients, while InForm provides buildability, compliance, and pricing advice to ensure the process is efficient and delivered within budget. The relationship is elevated when we can inspire and challenge each other, and for over a decade, the unique partnership between InForm and Pleysier Perkins has been doing just that.

“Our relationship with Pleysier Perkins spans over 10 years now, and in that time, we’ve put an enormous amount of work into ensuring the relationship is healthy and that all team members from either side treat one another with respect,” InForm Director Cameron McKimm says. “They’re well supported by a great leader in Simon Perkins, who protects them by making them feel safe to be creative and to be themselves.”

In conversations exploring the central idea of ‘healthy tension’, mutual respect was a common thread. Many in both Pleysier Perkins and InForm camps touched on the wealth of knowledge each team possessed, as well as the passion and dedication that the other team brought to a project. InForm’s estimating manager, Adam Davy, is one of those people. “Our clients are extremely lucky to have the resources of the Pleysier Perkins team. They pour over every last detail – as if it was their own home – which results in a building that will stand the test of time,” Adam says. “Because of this level of care and consideration, our clients will have a home that makes them smile every day and that they will love forever.”


For project manager Patrick Lane, inspiration comes from PP’s dedication to simplicity.“I am always impressed by the simplicity of good design and I really enjoy witnessing the design team’s attention to detail,” Patrick says. The power of simplicity is a concept that is front of mind at InForm and PP. It’s a philosophy that Simon Perkins holds close to his heart, and in a team that is so collaborative and aligned, it is not surprising that this sentiment reverberates through the InForm and PP offices.

“PP has always believed that great houses are the result of a productive collaboration between architect, client and builder and this philosophy is amplified in our InForm partnership: they are much more than simply builders,” Simons says. “They provide project managers, estimators, construction detailers, an experienced documentation team and contract administrators under one roof to ensure projects progress seamlessly from our initial client concept design meetings to construction.”

Another key ingredient to the partnership’s success has been our collective teams’ desire to reach the same goal. This does not mean that these outcomes are always reached without challenge, but when there’s a shared commitment, there’s a will and a way. “The InForm team is entirely committed to delivering beautiful architecture, and they’re passionate about their work,” PP studio director Berit Barton says. “They’re always striving to improve the process and experience both for the client and the team.”

Consider a recent Elsternwick project, for example. Nicole had goosebumps as she entered the open kitchen, meals and living space to see the fireplace hearth that could only be realised through meticulous collaboration and innovation. During the early stages of the design, Nicole had some questions about how they could achieve the design team’s vision, and to see the floating curved elements come together took her breath away.“I went back to the InForm office after that initial meeting and spoke to the estimating team and received confirmation that we could do it, but at a price,” Nicole continues. “The challenges in how we would actually execute it didn’t stop there, but by working together, we eventually reached a solution. Seeing it on site made me realise it was worth all the headaches it caused.”

“It’s an absolute honour to experience the outcome with our design and construction teams. They’re so passionate about their work and the end result; to walk through each project together will always remain the highlight of what we do.”

Cameron McKimm, Managing Director, InForm

InForm’s building manager Tom Skewes experienced a similar feeling of gratification at a recent site inspection. “The facade at our Caulfield North project required six months of meetings, design considerations, details, and a high level of communication,” Tom recalls. “The shared challenges and experience with the design team resulted in a great feeling of achievement at the pre-handover inspection, and to meet client expectations while creating an amazing result is why we do what we do.”

These site inspections have become critical to how the collective teams work and evolve. Not only is the exercise useful, but as Nicole and Tom have already recounted, it’s the most rewarding part of the job for most staff members. “It’s not only an important tradition that brings the PP and InForm teams together to review the results of our collective endeavours, but it’s also a critical opportunity to analyse our work, having spent hours reviewing abstract sketches, CAD details and 3D models,” Simon adds.

Even after the hours that go into sketching, imagining and realising these built forms, experiencing a space in person for the first time feels otherworldly. Not only has the designer’s vision come to life, but they also get to share the experience with their colleagues, having worked on each painstaking detail together. For Simon, reflecting on the process is a reminder of the journey the team goes on with each client. “Most importantly, projects are always celebrated when we come together; it’s an important milestone in an ongoing journey,” he finishes. “It is about the journey, not the destination.”