The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the theme and the first four international speakers for the 2017 National Architecture Conference.
Curated by Ken Maher, the Institute’s national president, and Helen Lochhead, dean of the UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment, the conference theme is Praxis. The program will explore the processes of thought, engagement and action in the creation of architecture.
The conference will examine various projects through the lenses of design thinking, design process and design actions. It will also profile the diverse modes of architectural practice throughout the world.
The first four international speakers have also been announced. They are:
Eva Castro – Plasma Studio, China
Eva Castro is a co-founder of Plasma Studio and Groundlab, the lead designers for the International Horticultural Fair in Xi’an, China – a 37-hectare landscape with a wide range of buildings that opened in 2011. She is the recipient of several awards including the Next Generation Architects Award (2008), the Young Architect of the Year Award (2002) and the Contract World Award (2009). Castro is a co-director of the Landscape Urbanism masters program at the Architectural Association in London. She has also taught at Tsinghua University in Beijing and at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Rahul Mehrotra – RMA Architects, India
Rahul Mehrotra founded his Mumbai-based practice RMA Architects in 1990. The practice has worked on projects for government and non-government agencies, corporations and private individuals and institutions. Mehrotra is a professor of urban design and planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He has written extensively on architecture, conservation and urban planning, co-authoring books such as Bombay — The Cities Within, Banganga — Sacred Tank, Public Places Bombay, Bombay to Mumbai — Changing Perspectives, Architecture in India, since 1990 and The Kumbh Mela – mapping the ephemeral mega city. He also co-authored the study Conserving an Image Center – The Fort Precinct in Bombay, which led to the historic Fort area in Mumbai being declared India’s first conservation precinct in 1995. In 2016 he co-curated the exhibition, The State of Architecture – Practises and Processes in India, which showed at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai.
Winy Maas – MVRDV, Netherlands
Winy Maas is a co-founding director of MVRDV, based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The practice is well known for projects such as the Expo 2000, the vision for greater Paris, Grand Paris Plus Petit and, more recently, the Market Hall in Rotterdam. In 2008, Maas founded The Why Factory, a research institute for the future city based at Delft University of Technology where Maas is also a professor. Maas also currently teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in New York and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Since 2013, Maas has been member of the Economic Development Board of Rotterdam.
Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey – O’Donnell and Tuomey, Ireland
Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey established their practice in 1988 after both working in the office of James Stirling in London. They have been described as the “godfathers of contemporary Irish architecture” by Architects Today. O’Donnell and Tuomey are five-time contenders for the prestigious Stirling Prize, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In September 2014, they were named the recipients of the 2015 RIBA Gold Medal, only the third and fourth Irish architects to receive this accolade. They have also exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale three times. In 2015, O’Donnell and Tuomey spoke at the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ conference, In situ.
The Praxis conference will be held in Sydney from 4 to 6 May 2017 at the newly completed International Convention Centre designed by Hassell and Populous. The conference will also be complemented by a fringe event program. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.