From the CEO

I’m very pleased to tell you about an exciting new international residency program the Institute has recently launched. The Droga Architect in Residence will be awarded on an annual basis, to architects based outside Australia who exemplify the highest standard of excellence in architectural design, research and practice. The residency will encourage the exploration of new approaches, an exchange of ideas, international collaboration and cross fertilisation.

Cultural philanthropist Daniel Droga has provided access to his award winning Durbach Block designed warehouse apartment in Sydney. The successful applicant will live in the penthouse apartment for a period of two to three months and will have the opportunity to engage with the Australian public and architectural community through a series of seminars and associated events.

I encourage you to let your international colleagues know about this wonderful opportunity. More information about the residency program can be found here. You might also want to read the article published in AFR on Friday about Daniel and the residency.

With the swearing-in of the new federal government, the Institute has determined that at least 13 of the 19 ministers in the Abbott cabinet have portfolio responsibilities relevant to the built environment and the architectural profession. Relevant portfolios range from trade, to education and the arts however we anticipate that there are two ministers we will engage with more often. The Hon Greg Hunt, MP, Minister for the Environment has portfolio responsibilities including sustainable communities, the urban environment and the Direct Action Plan. The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry has a large portfolio responsibility including energy efficiency, research policy and the services sector. Prior to the election I met with a number of Coalition shadow ministers and I am following up with and seeking meetings with the new government ministers.

On a sad note, last week the architectural community was shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz during the terrorist attack on the Nairobi shopping mall. It is difficult to comprehend such senseless loss of life. Not only was Ross a talented architect but he and his partner were actively working to benefit communities in need. The Institute has sent condolences to Ross’s family and I know that  many members of the architectural community have been touched by this terrible tragedy.

David Parken, CEO