From the National President

11 May

This week 1500 delegates and 27 guest speakers will descend on Melbourne for our 2015 National Architecture Conference – RISK.

The conference is an opportunity to spend time with colleagues, building networks, exploring industry developments, sharing ideas and impressions and, above all, to be involved in the future of our profession. It is a festival of new ideas and new approaches, of discussion and debate, and a rare chance to hear from exciting new voices and the trailblazers that came before them.

RISK 2015 asks us to explore the nexus between the professional necessity to take calculated and creative risks and a world obsessed with risk minimisation. Architects are motivated by the possibilities that come from design exploration and innovation. So how do we get our clients to embrace the risk of the unknown over the safety of the predictable?

I commend the creative directors Donald Bates, Hamish Lyon and Andrew Mackenzie for producing an outstanding program with a line-up of talented speakers from around the world.

The conference is one of the last events I attend in my capacity as National President. For me, the clear highlight of my year as President has been the opportunity to meet and engage with so many inspiring people around the country and the world, all of whom are striving to make the world a better place through their own contributions to architecture, whether that be through traditional practice or by associated activities. This experience has reinforced to me the need to recognise, and support, the diverse range of people and activities that contribute to delivering great architecture.
In my time as President, National Council and Chapter Councils, supported by dedicated staff and members, have continued to oversee the delivery of a broad range of services, events and representations. Nevertheless, we face many challenges. In particular, how can the Institute be responsive to the needs of our members in a sustainable way given the breadth of our areas of interest and the limitations on our financial and human resources? We are not alone among representative organisations in asking this question, and the trend appears to be towards narrowing focus to core interests.
At the end of this month, I will pass the presidential chains of office to Jon Clements. I offer my best wishes to Jon for the year ahead and I look forward to supporting him in my capacity as Immediate Past President.
I most sincerely thank our CEO David Parken and the outstanding Institute staff, my fellow councillors, members and our corporate partners for all of their support during my tenure.
The Institute is doing great work but the participation and commitment of members and staff are key to the success of the Institute’s programs, events and initiatives.
Attending events like RISK is just one example of the ways you can engage with the Institute – and the profession.

I hope to see you there!

David Karotkin
National President FRAIA