Reflecting on Risk 2015

What was it? The Australian Institute of Architects‘ annual architecture conference, held two weeks ago in Melbourne. Creatively directed by Donald Bates, Hamish Lyon and Andrew Mackenzie, it explored the changing role of risk in architecture. The directors framed the discussion by observing that "No one wants to be a safe architect. Safety assumes the conventional and the predictable. Who wants... Continue Reading →

Learning from lawyers

I recently had the intriguing experience of requiring the services of a lawyer. I say intriguing not because of the legal matter (which was a bit of basic conveyancing) but because my firsthand experience confirmed the commonly held view that lawyers speak a different language from the rest of us. My lawyer not only crafted the documents I needed in advanced legalese, she structured... Continue Reading →

Melbourne Architecture Annual

What is it? Previously known as Melbourne Architecture Week, Melbourne Architecture Annual (MAA) is a festival that has taken place the past two years in the last week of October. Its aim is to engage the broader community with both architects and architecture. Festival activities therefore tend towards content with wide-ranging appeal, including ask an architect... Continue Reading →

Density and the Suburbs

What was it? A seminar organised by Justine Clark on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects recently that discussed Melbourne's suburbs and its disconcertedly low housing density. Rather than propose specific solutions, it sought to broadly articulate the scope of the issue and how our understanding of it might help us chart a course... Continue Reading →

The Small Homes Service

Walsh Street House by Robin Boyd, 1958 What is it? Originally introduced in 1947 by architect Robin Boyd, the Small Homes Service was a method by which good architecture was made accessible to that section of the general public interested in design but otherwise unable to afford it. According to Boyd, at its peak this... Continue Reading →

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