It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in isolation for almost three months. As I write this, restrictions are gradually lifting in Queensland bringing some respite to those experiencing the difficulties of social distancing.
Experts are telling us that it will be a long while before we are ‘back to normal’. But we’re starting to question whether ‘normal’ is really where we want to be. For example, discussions at our recent Climate Action and Sustainability Committee meeting focussed on how the architectural and design profession can lead the way in imbedding innovative and sustainable solutions to the myriad issues caused by climate change.
While we contemplate what a better future may look like as a result of this massive medical, economic and social upheaval, my team and I are firmly focussed on assisting our members to navigate the challenges of cancelled jobs, unpredictable project pipelines, changes to practice conditions, study constraints and much more. We’re fortunate in having robust and committed members advising us on Chapter Council, and as members of our committees: Climate Action and Sustainability, Education, EmAGN, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Heritage, Practice, Regional Affairs and SONA.
Amidst the gloom, the Queensland Regional Architecture Awards virtual announcements were a great boost for the 52 practices shortlisted for the State Awards judging. For the first time in the 81-year history of the Queensland Awards, we gathered as a ‘socially distanced’ community to simultaneous applaud the winners and commended projects across Queensland. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest from the media (90+ articles and a readership reach of 60+ million) and social media (+110% Instagram engagement rate). The YouTube videos have so far been viewed by 2,500 people. We couldn’t have showcased and honoured the 2020 Awards entries without the support of our amazing sponsors – all 21 of them! Thank you.
A succinct message is a powerful message. Our ‘Shovel Ready’ campaign, followed by ‘Get your Architect on the Job’ has had strong traction. So far I’ve received responses from over 20 Councils, universities and developers. The feedback has been that these commissioners are fully intending to keep as many building projects viable and on track as funding permits. It’s been rewarding to speak with these respondents and hear their commitment to employing architects. The Queensland Government’s latest announcement of an additional $200million ‘Works for Queensland’ stimulus package further underlines the ‘Shovel Ready’ message. I look forward to hearing that our members have been successful in securing work on the suite of projects coming online across regional Queensland.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your Chapter team if you have any queries, concerns or issues that we can help you with.
Above: The team at Wilson Architects celebrating their John Dalton Award for Building of the Year for the Queensland University of Technology, Peter Coaldrake Education Precinct, in Association with Henning Larsen Architects
Below: The Coburn Architecture team celebrating their 2020 Far North Queensland Regional Project of the Year win for the Tablelands Regional Council, Community Education and Disaster Coordinator Centre via Zoom.