The William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize is awarded annually to honour Australians who have made a significant contribution to the profession, study or advancement of architecture beyond our shores. The committee has selected Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper as worthy recipients of the 2014 prize.
For nearly forty years, Beck and Cooper have collaborated as architectural editors, critics, writers and publishers, and through this work they have raised awareness and opinions of architecture both nationally and internationally. Working first on Architectural Design in London in 1976, they went on to launch International Architect in 1979 and then, in 1996, UME – a vehicle for presenting the drawings architects make to build their designs (usually the working drawings) and, through them, eliciting cultural and critical commentary. As well as writing and publishing UME, they have collaborated on map guides, articles, chapters and books on architecture. Among the books they have co-authored is the monograph Glenn Murcutt: A Singular Architectural Practice.
Jackie Cooper was born in London in 1950 and raised in Australia. She studied communications at the Polytechnic of Central London and worked in the Architectural Association School of Architecture communications unit, led by Dennis Crompton, until 1979.
Haig Beck was born in Brisbane in 1944. He studied architecture at Queensland Institute of Technology and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He was assistant technical editor on the Architects’ Journal from 1970–71, before becoming joint editor and subsequently sole editor of Architectural Design in 1976 and 1977–79 respectively. He launched International Architect with Cooper in 1979, promoting discourse on regionalism, national identity and cultural continuity in architecture, before returning to Australia in 1986. He was a professor and head of school at the University of Melbourne from 1993–96.
Beck and Cooper see architectural magazines as a crucial intermediary step in the progression of ideas from hypotheses to theories to built demonstrations. They foster and direct architectural research through the act of editing and publishing, selecting architectural works and texts, writing critiques and promoting theoretical propositions and practical outcomes. The International Area Committee applauds and congratulates the recipients of the William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize.
Jury Justin Hill FRAIA (chair) Kerry Hill Architects; Paul Logsdon FRAIA (co-vice chair) Kann Finch; Fiona Nixon FRAIA (co-vice chair) Atelier Lim and Tan; Janine Campbell RAIA architect and artist; Ronald Lu FRAIA Ronald Lu & Partners; Grant Marani FRAIA Robert A. M. Stern Architects; Hank Koning FRAIA Koning Eizenberg Architecture; Bob Nation LFRAIA Nation Architects; Dik Jarman Aff RAIA The University of Nottingham; David Teh FRAIA Pakatan Reka Arkitek Sdn Bhd.