Architecture in the age of Aquarius: 2020 APAF highlights

The Asia Pacific Architecture Festival (APAF, formerly Asia Pacific Architecture Forum) will return to Brisbane from 7 to 20 March 2020 with a series of events that explore the relationship between architecture and water.

Themed “Water,” the 2020 festival is curated by Cameron Bruhn (dean of University of Queensland School of Architecture) and Georgia Birks (graduate of architecture).

An anchor event of the festival will be The Architecture Symposium which will feature speakers from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, China, Singapore, New Zealand, India and Australia who will discuss our dynamic relationship with water from an essential resource to environmental challenge.

APAF will coincide with an exhibition titled Water at the Queensland Art Gallery, which includes immersive and thought-provoking works such as a river bed installation by Olafur Eliasson, a watering hole by Cai Guo-Qiang, and a frozen snowman by Peter Fischli and David Weiss.

Other highlights of the festival include:

PechaKucha X QAGOMA | Volume 60 – Water

For this special edition of PechaKucha, a group of Brisbane’s designers, artists, architects and other creatives will share their stories about how water relates to their work. The presentations will explore ideas and processes in a rapid-fire format using only 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide.

Artichoke Night School

In this session, three designers Stephanie Donigi (Architectus), Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill (Design Office) and architect Clare Kennedy will share their insights on how they gained a foothold in a foreign market, how they oversaw the process from their Australian studio, and the challenges and opportunities involved in such work.

Blak Feeds with Alison Page

Blak Feeds is a new create talk series inspired by the PechaKucha format with timed oral presentations and visual prompts. This edition features Alison Page, a descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people of the Yuin nation, whose work explores contemporary Aboriginal identity through interior design, public art, installations and film.

Thinking through craft: sustainability, materials, practice

This talk will explore relationship between craft and architecture from practice to innovation. Panellists will draw from fields of education, architecture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and craft research to examine importance of practice, materials and sustainability.

Oceanic space and Pacific futures

Karamia Müller and Charmaine ‘Ilaiū Talei will discuss Pacific architecture, urbanism and Oceanic spatial concepts. Karamia Müller is the first Sāmoan woman to receive a PhD in architecture. Charmaine ‘Ilaiū Talei is a Tongan and Aotearoa New Zealand-born architect specialising in traditional and contemporary Pacific architecture.

Architectural Records at Queensland State Archives

This tour will take visitors through a treasure trove stored at the Queensland State Archives. The state’s original architectural records including plans, maps and models dating back to 1824 will be on show.

Tim Ross: Designing a Legacy

Part of a national tour, comedian Tim Ross will present a new live show in which he meets the families who have lived in some of Australia’s most notable modernist houses designed by Robin Boyd, Roy Grounds, Ken Woolley and John Andrews.

The Asia Pacific Architecture Festival is a collaboration between founding partners Architecture Media (publisher of and the State Library of Queensland. For the full program, click here.

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