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Final speaker line-up for ‘circuit-breaking’ National Architecture Conference revealed

The final speakers for the 2019 National Architecture Conference have been announced, making for what promises to be a provocative two days in Melbourne from 20 to 22 June.

The speakers will address the conference theme, “Collective Agency,” in direct and indirect ways. Curators Monique Woodward, founding director of Wowowa Architecture, and Stephen Choi, a UK-registered architect and executive director of the not-for-profit Living Future Institute of Australia, have chosen speakers that can address delegates using both their architectural practice and a passionate critical eye.

Clare Cousins, Australian Institute of Architects national president, said, “Architects have the ability to influence the built environment and make the world better.

“This national conference will inspire architects with circuit-breaking ideas and fresh perspectives from leading designers and practitioners around the world and locally.

“This conference is deliberately different. Its international and local speakers will challenge attendees to harness their collective strength, effect change and deliver social benefits.”

The latest additions come after an earlier announcement of speakers which include architects with interests in decolonization, housing affordability, economics, propaganda and indigeneity.

New to the line-up is Elisapeta Heta, senior associate and Māori design leader of of New Zealand’s Jasmax, one of the largest practices in the country. Heta is founding member of Waka Māia, a cultural advisory body and “formalized commercial offering” within Jasmax. One particular function of this group is to advise on and engage with the Te Aranga Māori Design Principles, a response by Māori design professionals to the government’s official New Zealand Urban Design Protocol in 2005 that have since been adopted by the Auckland Council. Heta also played a part in the implementation of a covenant between Nga Ago and the New Zealand Institute of Architects that recognizes the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Momoyo Kajima, co-founder of Atelier Bow-Wow, will also speak at the conference. The prolific Japanese practice are heavily engaged in blending practice and research, and Kajima has previously spoken in Australia about her “ethnographical” approach to design, which was explored in the Japanese pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by the practice.

Woodward said the program was intended to raise questions about what an architect can or should be as a political actor in 2019.

“What are the new territories for architecture, who should be given a platform and what is advocacy within a regenerative and disruptive economy?” she said.

“This is about celebrating architects, thought leaders and projects that challenge the status quo.

“We want to look at the world from new perspectives and determine what our collective agency can and will be in the future.”

2019 National Architecture Conference speakers

Lesley Lokko – University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Marina Otero Verzier – Het Nieuwe Instituut, Netherlands
Marcos Rosello – All Design, United Kingdom
Emanuel Admassu and Jen Wood – AD-WO, USA
Farzin Lotfi-Jam – Farzin, USA
Momoyo Kajima – Atelier Bow-Wow, Japan
Sol Camacho – Raddar, Brazil
Elisapeta Heta – Jasmax, New Zealand
Jeremy McLeod – Breathe Architecture, Australia
Olivia Hyde – NSW Government Architects Office, Australia
Sarah Lynne Rees – JCBA, Australia
Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran – Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Australia
Laura Harding – Hill Thalis, Australia
Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright – Baracco and Wright, Australia
Genevieve Murray and Joel Sherwood-Spring – Future Method, Australia
Libby Porter – RMIT University, Australia
Scott Fry – Loving Earth, Australia
Cecille Weldon – Centre for Liveability Real Estate, Australia
David Tickle – Hassell, Australia
Ros Moriarty – Balarinji, Australia
Poppy Taylor and Mat Hinds – Taylor and Hinds Architects, Australia
Gregory Burgess – Gregory Burgess Architects, Australia

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