Reflecting on Edge 2018

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Edge, was held in June this year on the Gold Coast. Curated by Brett Saville, Barry Lee and Wei Jien, it sought to explore the physical and cultural impacts of climate change on cities, and ask speakers to "place their projects in the wider context of the coastal... Continue Reading →

Central Melbourne design guide

The City of Melbourne has undertaken a review of the current design policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme, and proposed Amendment C308 to introduce a new approach to urban design. This includes a new Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1, and is accompanied by the Central Melbourne design guide (CMDG) to support its use and interpretation. The... Continue Reading →

The 2018 Venice Biennale

I’m in Venice. It’s hot and humid and teeming with tourists, a cacophony of languages and accents, cheap souvenirs and selfie sticks. The water is aquamarine and pungent, a bouquet of toxic algae and dead fish. The ancient buildings guard the banks of the canals, their mostly shuttered windows reinforcing a pervading sense of decay.... Continue Reading →

Heritage protection for Festival Hall

Festival Hall was built in 1955, replacing the 1913 West Melbourne Stadium that was destroyed that year by fire. The two buildings were the principal boxing and wrestling venues in Victoria until the late 1970s, and a principal live music venue until the 1980s.[1] Festival Hall's decades-long association with the boxing community earned it the... Continue Reading →

The genius loci of design

Genius loci The presiding god or spirit of a place Does the spirit of Mihaly Slocombe's design live in the pieces of yellow tracing paper that we fill with floorplans and diagrams? Or in the massing experiments we produce in SketchUp? Or in the presentation models we build from cardboard and balsa? Does it live in... Continue Reading →

No Apple at Federation Square

I penned an ArchiTeam media release opposing the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square, it goes like this: ArchiTeam opposes the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square. The demolition of the Yarra Building at Federation Square and construction of an Apple flagship store in its place disregards the built context of... Continue Reading →

Bigger is better

On Friday evening ArchiTeam held its annual debate at No Vacancy, the gallery also exhibiting the 2017 ArchiTeam awards. The debate topic was, "Architecture... The smaller the better? Is the future of architecture small? Small living, small buildings, small practice... Debate!" Zoë Geyer of ZGA Studio, who facilitated the debate, journeyed across the world into... Continue Reading →

Reflecting on Praxis 2017

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Praxis, was held last month in Sydney. Breaking with the twelve year old tradition of appointing creative directors via open competition, it was curated by AIA National President Ken Maher and UNSW Built Environment Dean Helen Lochhead. The conference sought to "explore processes of thought, engagement and action,"... Continue Reading →

Altruism and entrepreneurialism

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. Inspired by member interest, ArchiTeam decided last year to initiate a public outreach program that will advocate for architects and architecture. I covered the broad context of this development here, exploring why ArchiTeam might want to take on such a challenging role. I observed that the built environment has many enemies plundering it for... Continue Reading →

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