The RAIA event focus for 2002 will be global:local – a theme that will look at both ends of the RAIA membership rather than at the midfield.
“Global” is about international practice issues, the practical and the philosophic. It will explore the issues of working in other countries, collaboration, documentation and supervision issues, employment, taxation, insurance and security issues. It will examine the cultural issues of intellectual importation and export and regionalism versus universalism.
“Global” will be launched with an international practice forum in March 2002, hosted by the RAIA.
Participants will include the important international practices in Australia, and the largest consultant firms, including engineers, cost consultants and multi-disciplinary planning firms. The Federal Minister for Trade will be invited to open the forum. A discussion session will include the APEC Architect Project and its relevance to other disciplines.
Following the Forum a new RAIA International Practice Committee (IPC) will be formed. Issues which emerge in the forum will develop the agenda of the IPC, which will address issues on behalf of the consultant community.
The RAIA will take IPC issues forward to the Federal Government, the UIA and parallel organisations where bi-lateral relationships exist. Presentation topics can be developed which the RAIA will then promote to international conventions such as those conducted by the RIBA and the AIA. The RAIA will provide the distance and voice which single private interests cannot.
“Local” will focus on local government, local design and local communities. Local will be launched with a local government issues forum hosted by the RAIA in April 2002. The RAIA will promote renewed contact with local government. The purpose of this forum is to draw out the issues of concern associated with local government and the role of the professional, the value of design and the management of change. Damage directed at architects must be reversed and the reputation of architects reclaimed.
Global:local will unite at the International Convention in Melbourne in June 2002. One day will be devoted to global and international issues, one day to design by example, and one day to local government and design. The international sessions will span the practical and the philosophical, with guest speakers such as Santiago Calatrava (who has worked in multiple cultures) and major Australian practices working in the Middle East, Vietnam and China.
The “local” session will bring together planners from country and suburban councils, master planners and architects, to debate the conflicts and common goals occurring under the variety of planning frameworks in Australia. It is aimed at the sole and small practitioner dealing daily with councils, on a face to face basis.
This 2002 project, developed with Vice President David Parken, may serve as an entree into future local government conferences, where the best speakers will be offered to present papers. This will be one step aimed to turn back the tide of disconnection between architects and local government expertise.
Graham Jahn FRAIA
RAIA National President