Architects will have the opportunity to acknowledge, learn and respect First Nations’ Connection to Country at a three-day immersive course in February next year.
The Country. Culture. Community. program – to be held in nipaluna (Hobart) from February 14 to 16 – will delve into the practicalities of connecting and designing with Country and engaging with community.
Australian Institute of Architects National Education Program Lead Kate Concannon said the role of architects was evolving in relation to First Nations perspectives.
“The Institute has been keenly focused on education to build competence and confidence,” she said.
“Through various forums and continuing professional development programs we are striving to help architects attain the newly introduced competencies that underpin the effective engagement and informed design that celebrate and support Country, communities and cultures.”
The 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) included eight new performance criteria to establish specific requirements related to Country, First Nations cultures and communities. The standards formalise these proficiencies as professional obligations.
The three-day program aligns with the NSCA to help participants to achieve learning outcomes including: identifying successful approaches to intercultural design and artist collaboration, consulting effectively and engaging respectfully, balancing community needs and expectations with regulations such as the National Construction Code.
It will also provide realistic learning and action plans for regulatory compliance, cultural responsiveness, understanding of Indigenous aspirations, project budgeting, and integration of quality and performance standards considering environmental impact.
Ms Concannon said recent advocacy and activism for First Nations perspectives had intensified the awareness that architecture has had a “blind spot” for Indigenous perspectives. However, she said, there was a collective desire to address the issue.
“I strongly encourage all architects and other allied professionals to join us for this important gathering,” she said.
“Together we can commit to the development, at both an individual and practice level, knowledge, of understanding and practical skills to produce architecture that is more informed, respectful and enriching.”
The program builds on the Institute’s advocacy work and enduring commitment to reconciliation and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Chief Executive Officer Cameron Bruhn said the call for Voice, Treaty and Truth would continue to guide the Institute’s strategies and plans.
“Working together, we can change outcomes for Indigenous Australians through our support of the profession and alignment of our policy, advocacy and education approaches with First Nations values and priorities,” he said.
The Country, Culture, Community CPD event will attract 10 CPD points in competencies including NSW mandatory topics, First Nations, Sustainability and NCC 2022. The program will also feature a welcome reception, a Dark Sky Tasmania experience and a half-day tour of Murrayfield Station, Bruny Island.
Early bird tickets are now on sale at $989 for members and $1239 for non-members.