Recently we’ve heard rhetoric from our political leaders about living in the most exciting time in our nation’s history. Much of this should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s not entirely spin. We are living in a time of rapid change and the need to be more, in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s words, “agile” and “innovative,” particularly in response to tackling climate change, is as clear as it is exciting. To be successful at this, Australia needs to improve its record of applied research by facilitating better collaboration between universities and industry, research and practice. In this first issue of Landscape Architecture Australia for 2016 we present outstanding work across academia and practice.
Featured are the winning projects in This Public Space, the Australasian student design competition, an initiative by AILA with the Van Alen Institute. We also present the winners of the 2015 Landscape Architecture Australia Student Prize. We would like to thank Daniel Bennett and Jacky Bowring for joining Ricky Ricardo on this year’s jury. Also in this issue, a co-authored piece by University of Melbourne supervisor Jillian Wallis and master’s graduate Jason Toh discusses Toh’s thesis research on design technology for tropical climates. We speak with Martin Rein-Cano, the co-founder of German practice Topotek 1, and review two high-profile built projects, The Goods Line and Barangaroo Reserve.
We were privileged to be on the creative team for the 2015 AILA Festival of Landscape Architecture: This Public Life, along with Claire Martin – a longtime contributor to the magazine. A significant moment was an acceptance by the Prime Minister to officially open the conference via video. This was a clear highlight. Following years of yearning for wider recognition, here we had the top politician addressing our conference. Perhaps Natalie Jeremijenko had it right when she suggested that landscape architects are the “astronauts of the twenty-first century.”
Projects and articles in this issue:
- Designing for climate change. Moving beyond generalized approaches to mediating urban heat in our cities. (Article: Jillian Walliss and Jason Toh)
- Profile: Martin Rein-Cano. An interview with the founding director of Berlin-based landscape architecture practice Topotek 1. (Interview: Ricky Ricardo)
- Landscape Student Prize. The 2015 Landscape Architecture Australia Student Prize.
- Barangaroo Reserve. Two reviews of Barangaroo Reserve by PWP Landscape Architecture and Johnson Pilton Walker Architecture and Landscape Architecture. (Reviews: Scott Hawken and Bruce Mackenzie)
- Watch this (Public) Space. A look at the recently completed northern segment of The Goods Line designed by Aspect Studios and CHROFI. (Review: Simon Kilbane)
- Stillness, Clarity, Integrity. The Ian Potter Sculpture Court at Monash University designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, Simon Ellis Landscape Architects and Fiona Harrisson. (Review: Kate Gamble)
- Centring Indigenous Design. A review of two recent books on place-informed design in Indigenous Australia. (Review: Grant Revell)
Cameron Bruhn, editorial director, Landscape Architecture Australia
Ricky Ricardo, associate editor, Landscape Architecture Australia
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