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Architecture Australia March 2020

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Architecture Media Pty Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
rebuilding for future resilience

This summer, we shared a sense of despair at the frightening images emerging from bushfire-impacted communities across Australia, from rainforest regions in Queensland not known to have burned before, to historic townships in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands and south coast holiday destinations, to Victoria’s Gippsland and Alpine regions. At the time of writing, bushfires have destroyed more than six thousand buildings, including two thousand homes, and 28 people have died. An almost inconceivable one billion native animals have been killed and more than 10 million hectares has been razed. The events of this summer were covered in international media and, in our national response, we have the chance to show leadership. But this leadership must be rolled out in a coordinated way and involve government, local communities and all built…

3 min
shared visions of australian place

In the context of greenhouse gas emissions and our climate emergency, the building industry has much to answer for. Although good design has always been about responding responsibly to climate, what is happening to our world will profoundly affect what and where we build in the future. This is especially pertinent in light of Australia’s recent horrific bushfire season. It is heartening to see architects taking a stance against regulatory failure and committing to initiatives such as Architects Declare, which has led to more than 100 practices in Australia (at the time of printing) committing to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2020. Of course, how this translates into a mass reconsideration of the way our built environment responds to our planet’s complex environmental challenges is the next question. In…

7 min
god in reverse: art, architecture and consciousness

Richard Goodwin’s recent book, God in reverse: Art, architecture and consciousness (Uro Publications, 2018), is about Sydney in a way that is similar to how Fellini’s film Roma was about Rome. The final chapter is an account of driving Wolf Prix, co-founder and CEO of Coop Himmelblau, around Sydney in Goodwin’s car (an event that actually did occur) that cleverly morphs into an imagined remaking of that Fellini film. Both God in reverse and Roma are semi-autobiographical, episodic, radically open in structure, inherently political, philosophical, and attentive across scales, from the intimate to the macrocosmic. In holding up a multifaceted mirror to Sydney, the book might be seen as a call to architecture to respond to the growing global barbarism of our times through the central idea of “the expansion…

7 min
our voices: indigeneity and architecture

Our voices: Indigeneity and architecture begins as its title signals, calling to its reader in chapter-long verses that share research findings, practice observations, lived experiences and creative modes at the confluence of Indigeneity and architecture. Published by Oro Editions in 2018 and co-edited by Rebecca Kiddle (Ngati Porou and Nga Puhi), luugigyoo patrick stewart (Killerwhale House of Daaxan of the Nisga’a Village of Gingolx) and Kevin O’Brien (Kaurareg and Meriam peoples of the Torres Strait Islands), Our voices is an extensive survey comprising twenty-five chapters contributed by Indigenous thinkers working as academics, activists, architects, artists, conservationists, designers, educators, policy analysts, urban planners and researchers invested in Indigenous architectures. The book opens with a tribute to Maori architect Rewi Thompson (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa), authored by Deidre Brown (Nga Puhi, Nga ti…

14 min
work-related mental wellbeing in architecture: getting beyond the loop

Concerns about mental health and work-related wellbeing within the architecture profession are not new. For some years, there has been a strong shared perception, and growing anecdotal evidence, of a challenging work environment and high levels of stress and anxiety among architectural practitioners and students alike. Discussion in the architectural press – particularly in the UK-based Architects’ Journal, but also across almost all of the online and print publications in the Anglophone world – has been both widespread and emphatic, with many arguing that we have real issues with work-related mental wellbeing, that these problems are widespread and systemic, and that they are at least ongoing and perhaps getting worse. Australian commentators including Sandra Kaji-O’Grady,1 Byron Kinnaird2 and Peter Raisbeck,3 among others, have addressed the issue in widely discussed essays. Individuals…

9 min
the sibyl centre m3 architecture

Coincidentally, the principal of the Women’s College within the University of Sydney, Dr Amanda Bell, is reading the same novel as me, which the back cover describes as a #MeToo revisionist version of Greek mythology. Given that her college is the client for the new Sibyl Centre by M3 Architecture, it is perhaps less coincidental that she has chosen a book about a strong female character, Circe, who could look into the future, like the prophetess Sibyl. I suspect that Bell may have the same skill, as she has been a potent force in the expansion of an already progressive educational institution. The circular, multipurpose Sibyl Centre, woven into the fabric of the existing campus, has created an unambiguously contemporary architectural heart for the College, while master-planning moves of Platonic…