Now, more than ever, as we face extreme health and climate crises, architects are being called upon to be leaders in shaping the built environment. How can we adapt to a new set of design criteria that seems to change by the day? How do we create architecture that will be safe, social and sustainable? If the year 2020 was intended to bring clarity of vision, the very definition of each of these words has changed dramatically and reframed our approach.
Across cities and countries, this time of crisis has forced us to alter our course and respond as a community. As the Jury Chair of this year’s International Chapter Architecture Awards, it has been revitalising to review the award submissions through this new lens. We have been encouraged by the entries with their various challenges based on unique cultural, geographical and environmental circumstances. This also reflects the evolving growth and diversity of the membership of the International Chapter. The various methodologies applied in many of these projects have translated into unique architecture that is also inherently Australian in their integrity of material, form and detail.
Together with my fellow jury members, it has been a privilege to take part in this year’s awards. In spite of all that is uncertain and unknown in the world outside of our Zoom calls, we have found moments of delight through our jury deliberations. As architects abroad, we value more than ever this connection to the Australian architecture community, and we thank you for this wonderfully engaging experience.
Wei Jien (Jury Chair) RAIA