Innovative Design and Adaptable Living can appear in the same sentence…

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson has written a great piece on adaptable living and housing for our “older citizens” – a relevant topic considering our aging population and the changing face of the over 45 demographics. The article features T&G’s Coal Point house, and here we pay tribute to our fabulous clients who helped us make this project such a success.

My paper and presentation will be uploaded very soon, as well as being accessible on Continuum, the online CPD portal from the Australian Institute of Architects. The positioning of practice is crucial to the future of architecture and it is important that diverse modes of practice are fostered. On some levels I’ve actually moved my thinking along a little bit from what I presented in July, although one cannot underestimate the potential of the embedded practice models evident in Europe, and also evident here in North America, where I am presently travelling.

A small indulgence… with some TU Delft thrown in for good measure

permit me to get…. een beetje persoonlijk

Ok, that means a little personal, for the non-Dutch readers out there.

This is my blog, so I am going to indulge a little, just once for the time being.

I have been thinking a lot about where I’m at, where I see myself in the world. and how what i do in this world is valued, too.

no, its not a midlife crisis arrived early.

rather, the reason for this reverie is that the age I am now is the age when my father was cruelly taken from this mortal coil (courtesy of a freak industrial accident).

this situation forces me to reflect a little…

what have I achieved?

and where are we all at? are we all really doing any better than 25 years ago?

I certainly think that my father had achieved a lot. and that was without the cosy, dulling comforts of modern technology and all that it brings.  he lived in a time without Twitter, blogs, FB, email – these “props” by which we claim to have relationships in this day and age. not one of his relationships was the result of anything but his commitment to the other person – family member, work colleague, church friend, sailing buddy.

Of course, our digital props can be very successful for us. i personally have been able to meet up with new people on my research trip because of contacts made via FB and Twitter, and they’ve proven to be worthwhile, interesting contacts.

But i wonder where these digitally enhanced relationships leave us when we come to the classroom, the studio, the lecture theatre, the tutorial session: to the educational relationship.

At TU Delft, where I have spent the past couple of days for my research project Build/Ability, I have seen the power of  face to face educational relationships – the studio space hard at work. the students here have wholeheartedly embraced the opportunities of having a stable, functional and useful studio space as the backdrop for their learning. they have not quite taken up full residency, but the plethora of spaces, the technical and support facilities, in house library and seamless flow of cafes, model workshops and studios encourages total immersion.

With total immersion comes the opportunity to talk freely of design integration, because this teaching approach mirrors the interrelated nature of the learning spaces, the layered and varied student / staff relationships, and most importantly, the desire to present architectural practice as an acceptable past time, not an embarrassment to the academy.

There is much to be learned back home – we should stop talking about student to staff ratios for a while and instead start talking about student to dedicated studio space ratios.

We might then see the germination of some real educational and professional relationships too.


T&G’s entry for the Advertisements for Architecture

Here’s T&G’s entry for the Advertisements for Architecture . This exhibition was held as part of the Sydney Architecture Festival and is currently on display at the Surry Hills Library, Crown St, Surry Hills.

Considering the brief, we wanted to engage with the wider community utilising the channels by which this audience is most often exposed to architectural ideas.

We cannot  assume that any given individual views  or understands  architecture in the same way as the next person. Generally speaking, however, we can assume that the point of experiential commonality for this audience is the ability to see and thereby consume architecture –  consciously or not.

In appealing to that audience, we wanted to provoke the viewer to identify with an obvious “seeing” mechanism. The 3D glasses are a reminder of our desire to seek escapism via “bigger than life” experiences.  Tapping into the re-emergence of experientially enhanced cinema provides a humorous vehicle for reminding the general public of the excitement in architecture, in the real 3D around them every day….

We also wanted to engage with popular culture to remove the elitism commonly attached to architecture  – which is amusing in itself because architecture is everywhere, it’s highly accessible. So we developed this advertisement to demonstrate this attitude whilst having a little fun.