Philanthropic endeavour highlights importance of architecture to Australian culture and community

The Australian Institute of Architects has launched a new Foundation that will promote the benefits of architecture and design to the wider community through a national program of initiatives.

Chaired by former Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon AM OBE, the Foundation will focus on projects that positively impact our communities through architecture and design including exhibitions, scholarships and education programs.

‘A Foundation supporting the development of architecture is a fresh concept for Australia. Previously, other art sectors have been the major recipients of cultural philanthropy, however architecture, having the capacity for direct and positive impact on the future of our cities and urban spaces, should also be nurtured through philanthropic assistance,’ Mr Capon said.

The Foundation’s fundraising initiatives will include the launch of a Patrons program. ‘Patrons will be our key allies in the development of a range of initiatives that draw architecture and design to the forefront of Australia’s creative consciousness, as well as educating the wider population about the benefits to be gained by good design,’ Mr Capon added.

‘Architecture and design is a vital pillar of community wellbeing, and to ensure continued improvement of the quality of our built environments, we must develop outreach programs and initiatives to generate purposeful conversations about the benefit of good design. It will also make architecture accessible to a more informed public – this is the guiding mission of the Foundation,’ David Parken, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects said.

The first initiative of the Foundation is an architecture residency program, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australian Institute of Architects’ Droga Architect in Residence will encourage the exploration of new approaches, the exchange of ideas, international collaboration and cross fertilisation, by inviting international architects to participate in a three-month program.

Cultural philanthropist and supporter of the Institute, Daniel Droga, generously gifted his award-winning Droga Apartment in Surry Hills for use by the Foundation as an architect residency.

The apartment, designed by Durbach Block Architects and winner of the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture at the 1998 National Architecture Awards, will accommodate the inaugural architect in residence, Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa who arrived from Barcelona in early March for a 12 week residency.

Selected from a very strong field of international practitioners, ‘Dr Fiol-Costa exemplifies the vision of the Institute and the Foundation through her commitment to design excellence, social wellbeing and environmental responsibility,’ National President Paul Berkemeier said.

Australian Institute of Architects Foundation – Board Members
Edmund Capon – Chairman, Australian Institute of Architects Foundation
Daniel Droga – CEO, DCM BlueLake
Penelope Seidler AM -Director, Harry Seidler & Associates
Sue Cato – Principal, Cato Counsel
Karl Fender – Director, Fender Katsalidis
Brian Zulaikha – Founding Partner and Director, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer
David Parken – CEO, Australian Institute of Architects

More information.

Contact: mandy.obryan@architecture.com.au