March 30, 2012

Wednesday night (28th April) was the opening of the newly refurbished and vastly expanded MCA – a very exciting event.

Contemporary Art plays such an important role in our society. It is portal through which we see deeper and deeper layers of the world we live in, and helps us to understand our societies, cultures and ourselves. It enables a greater understanding of those around us, ultimately creating higher levels of compassion, empathy, and thankfully humor, in our society.

The new MCA is Australia’s capital of contemporary art and Sydney is very fortunate to have it. Not only will it host the MCA’s permanent collection, but the gallery is of a standard that can demand the best international exhibitions, curators, speakers and events. And to top it off, the new space contains incredible children’s education facilities, a library, and a cafe with Sydney’s best view. All in all, a fantastic addition to our vibrant …

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March 22, 2012

Judging this year’s awards was a delight.

Firstly, for the opportunity to see so much good work from around Australia and abroad. And although we saw many designs dangerously converging towards a single trend (yet quality in their own right), they were contrasted by a number that were truly original and creative – works that clearly stood out amongst the crowd as examples our industry should aspire to.

And secondly, I found the jury to be incredibly well selected – representing a range of strong opinions, always professional, and most of all a lot of fun to work with.

The judging process reminded me how important the ADIA‘s are in terms of measuring the performance of our industry, but more importantly, capturing our best so we can promote the strength, credibility, and importance of what the design industry offers to the public domain.

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March 15, 2012

I was recently invited to a dinner at a very special house in Walsh St, South Yarra (VIC), designed and built by the late great Robin Boyd in 1959 – a time where modernity of thinking and living was emerging from a significant (and stifling) period of conservatism. And Boyd balances the two perspectives to great effect throughout the home, which is humble yet very glamorous; innovative yet supremely practical.

Now property of the Robin Boyd Foundation and only opened on special occasions, it was wonderful privilege to briefly ‘live’ in such an amazing space. The home was as much a family residence as it was the melting pot for Melbourne’s social and political power players in the 60’s, and I couldn’t help but think of all the extraordinary individuals that shared the same table when Boyd himself was present – a rare experience I won’t soon forget.

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March 12, 2012

Recently, I was invited to sit for an art project entitled ‘Reading at Selsdon’. Conceived by Creative Director, Stephen Todd, and orchestrated in collaboration with art photographer, Murray Hilton, the concept seemed simple enough: I was invited to walk into Todd’s – rather immense and incredibly eclectic – library, choose a book of my liking, and be shot, reading, by Hilton, in his characteristic warm, sumptuously glowing light. What better choice can I have made than Adolf Loos’ Why a Man should be Well-Dressed? A book that – de facto – proves that, despite the maestro’s oft-cited edit: ornament is not such a crime, after all…

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March 9, 2012

Designing the ‘Ohel Chapel’ (Jewish Funeral Chapel) for the Sydney Chevra Kadisha would be a daunting – but immensely rewarding – task, for any architect.

History shows us that these kind of projects are often the most memorable an architect can produce – and are often career defining. We’re thinking here of Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France; Tadao Ando’s iconic Church of Light; Mario Botta’s churches in Ticino, Zumpthor’s Chapel in Germany… and so on: Renzo Piano, Alvar Alto, Utzon, Alvaro Siza… all, no matter what their own belief, have created spectacular structures to a faith.

The concept of death may be daunting for many, however it one of life’s absolute realities. And the mourner’s experience of dealing with this process can be vastly nourished by an architecture that embodies the meaning and symbolism of the ritual.

We are deeply honored to have been chosen among the few to do this project.

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March 8, 2012

It was a pleasure and an honour to be invited to give my take on what’s going to be great in 2012, along with friends, colleagues and some people i don’t (yet) know – but are clearly in the know.

Download the full article here.

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March 6, 2012

Aerial photography has always fascinated me. As has, of course, Paris, one of the most perfectly-rendered master plans ever (courtesy of Baron Haussmann in the late C19th) and incidentally, home of my maternal grandmother – the most formative force in my most formative years.

There’s an undeniable fascination with perspectives only achieved from the air; witness our collective addiction to Google Earth. It allows us to view the world at almost any scale, as it exists today (or more accurately, as it existed a year or so ago when the images were recorded.) Unless of course, you’re in Paris, where the clever folk at le Pavillon de L’Arsenal have created a 37 m2 digital panel that makes use of the same Google technology to let people explore the city of Paris in the year 2020.

The exhibition, titled ‘Paris and it’s Evolution’, is a comprehensive look at all that Paris, that most iconic of cities, was, …

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