The weather is cooling as we head toward late autumn; the winter months approach, and with them the core of the year in practice. How we can effectively practice as architects and professionals in a rapidly shifting economic playing field is at the centre of decision making within the Institute. Challenges around government contracts, compliance, documentation delivery mandates, promotion of climate responsible design, our profession’s visibility on city shaping, design of affordable housing, and equality and inclusion all prevail.
It was therefore with great pleasure that I attended the meeting of National Council in Melbourne last week to discuss over two days the full spectrum of issues facing our profession. Refreshingly, there was a positive, proactive and cooperative attitude in the room across all matters including design education, the encapsulation of First People’s cultural safety in our our buildings, climate action, gender equity and our media strategy. The at times vigorous discussions were always focussed on using the vast experience around the table to arrive at actionable outcomes that aim to improve our profession and facilitate clearer direction. These discussions may appear at a distance from day to day practice, however I can assure members that it is this work that ultimately elevates the profession’s position on the national stage and optimises fairness and inclusion within the Institute.
I was then privileged to attend the 2022 Australian Institute of Architects Symposium “Lost Opportunities” and it was great to see a number of Tasmanian architects in attendance as well. It was enriching to be able to attend a bational conference again after the COVID disruption. A list of incredible international and local speakers delivered insightful commentary on projects, unbuilt work, the challenges of practice and design. Speakers included Pritzker Prize winners Glenn Murcutt (Australia), Alvaro Siza (Portugal), Yvonne Farrell & Shelly McNamara (Ireland), the sublime Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi OAL (India) and Carme Pigem (Spain), along with Teresa Moller (Chile), Valerio Olgiati (Switzerland), and Australians Sean Godsell, Brit Andersen, Angelo Candelapas and Richard Le Plastrier. A huge thank you to the Creative Directors Tony Gionnone & Angelo Candelapas and all the organisers for the huge amount of work to bring us such an inspiring collection of presenters.
On the local front, the Tasmanian Chapter continues to advocate at all levels for quality design to be the forefront of project and city planning. The Chapter recently submitted feedback to Glenorchy City Council regarding their proposed Commercial Zone Apartments initiative, stressing the importance of good design principles and connectivity. Glenorchy City Council are to be applauded for this initiative as this is the type of urban densification we need to see.
The Practice Committee continues to work hard on issues pertinent to our profession, including delivery processes, EOI procedures and feedback to the Acumen Content Review Panel. Architects Declare are hosting a site visit this weekend to a rammed earth house currently under construction by Core Collective, which I encourage members to head along to.
Since I last wrote I have had a fruitful discussion with EmAGN co-chairs, Kathrine Vand and Aaron Lougoon, and I intend to foster a strong relationship between those emerging in the profession and their potential for real involvement in Institute matters.
Lastly, having met with the national SONA representative in Melbourne, I will be heading to the UTAS School of Architecture soon to discuss the practice of architecture with all students in an informal Q&A format and I look forward to connecting with the Tasmanian SONA rep, Nuri Mohamad.
Don’t forget to diary the President’s Forum discussion on Tuesday 12 April. I would love as many members to be there as possible.
Thank you, and feel to contact the Chapter office should you wish to discuss anything.
“Architecture has a role, a civic duty – to satisfy the unspoken wishes of strangers” – Yvonne Farrell