As with many of Jonathan Jones’ works, untitled (maraong manaóuwi) in the forecourt of the Hyde Park Barracks draws upon layers of deep research, symbolism and culture to speak to the history of this place. This artwork particularly teaches us to have reverence and thoughtfulness in the way we use materials.
Held to the whim of rapidly changing trends, it is not uncommon to find kitchens barely five years old discarded or stripped from homes. In 2018, 78% of home improvements were for kitchen renovations, (according to the Home Builders Association). Off-cut kitchen is a physical manifestation of our local deconstruction and reuse network. While there are endless examples of aesthetic experimentation within the architectural interior, the materials are almost always the same, melamine, MDF, veneer and natural stone. Our question became, how can we construct a kitchen using only materials destined for landfill?
The last three years have seen architectural practice grapple with internal and external issues that we’ve not faced in several generations, if ever. However, a recent roundtable discussion with a number of practices suggests the dark days of the pandemic may have been the prelude to a period of positivity for the profession.
Crises are powerful agents for change. The worldwide pandemic and recent natural disasters have highlighted the fragility of human health, along with the importance of taking care of our planet. Like many industries, architecture and construction has responded with efforts to evolve practices in sustainable ways.
An appeal to consider the ethics of everything is overwhelming but remains urgent. The Ethics Centre identifies an ethics framework as a useful tool to consider purpose and values. Beyond design excellence, an ethics framework can help studios operate with intention, recruit the right people and reduce the risks of poor decisions being made.