National events such as the RAIA National Conference and National Architecture Awards were outstanding successes in 2005 on every level.
The National Events during 2005 forged ahead into new ground with a new format for the National Conference held in Melbourne under the creative direction of Kerstin Thompson and co-located with the trade shows DesignEX and Form & Function. Attended by 800 guests following the theme of ‘exchange’, 10 international and 10 local architects presented side-by-side and followed their presentations with 'on the couch' panel sessions.
The National Architecture Awards, held for the first time in the Sydney Opera House, offered a spectacular backdrop to the awards. A personal message from Jorn Utzon, and presentation of the 25 Year Award to the Opera House by Jan Utzon, were special highlights of the night.
The RAIA Gold Medal Program began a new phase in its history with new sponsor Armstrong. For the first time, Gold Medallist James Birrell visited each capital city - increasing awareness among our members and the public of the RAIA’s highest accolade. The program includes a media announcement and press event in March, followed by the national tour during the year, and culminating in the aspirational and academic AS Hook Address in October during Architecture Week.
Architecture Week, held nationally from 24-30 October, celebrated the Gold Medallists of the past with a full pictorial and historical exhibition of the architects and their work. The AS Hook Address was held in Brisbane to a large and appreciative audience at QUT.
The Way Forward
We aim to continue to grow and improve the National Architecture Awards program and event, with a taskforce reviewing the entire awards process underway.
The RAIA National Conference will return to Melbourne in 2007, continuing the joint venture relationship with trade show organisers DMG World Media. We will increase our focus on bringing the conference content to a broader national reach, via the CE online and touring seminar series.
The Gold Medal program also continues to grow, with larger audiences and more refined event formats to suit each state. The RAIA has committed to the Venice Architecture Biennale for 2006, 2008 and 2010.