A conversation with Peter Maddison

Peter Maddison is the principal of Maddison Architects and presenter of Grand Designs Australia. Kieran Stoltenkamp talks with him about his role on the Dulux Colour Awards jury for 2012.

What led you to being an architect? A leap of faith. When I finished Year 12, I didn’t know what I was going to do. After school, I started out in real estate and was intrigued about how the world works. Eventually I met a model mentor whose lifestyle and passion for architecture inspired me.

What role do you think the Dulux Colour Awards play in the Australian design industry? The Dulux Colour Awards have always been perceived by my practice as a quality competition to take part in. They are well promoted and taking out one of the titles is a prestigious feat within the industry.

Temperance Hotel, South Yarra, by Maddison Architects.

Temperance Hotel, South Yarra, by Maddison Architects.

It’s a rare competition because it not only takes into account the use of colour in projects, but also looks at the quality of architecture and interior design. Over the years, the Dulux Colour Awards have also had some well respected industry professionals make up the judging panel, which I’m proud to be on for the 2012 competition.

What’s on the cards for 2012? Maddison Architects has some exciting projects coming up next year. Plus, Grand Designs series 2, Grand Designs Live Melbourne and Sydney, being an ambassador for Melbourne Open House and giving lectures to city councillors on housing and sustainability will keep me very busy. Also, Grand Designs Live magazine will be coming out quarterly and I’ll be the editor at large. There’s a book in the wind and I’ll be going to London in May to see Grand Designs Live London. Somewhere in all this I hope to have a holiday sailing in Turkey.

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Do you have any insights into some trends for next year? Sustainability will continue to garner interest, but people are seeing this as a catchphrase and are increasingly wanting to embed the whole notion of environmental living in their day-to-day activities.

Can you name some creative people whose work you admire or who have inspired you? Most of my Melbourne architectural peers – Stephen Fry, Fleet Foxes, Herzog & De Meuron Architects, owner of MONA David Walsh, Cadel Evans, my mum, Lorna Galbraith, and the Fremantle Media team in Melbourne that make me look good on Grand Designs.

What advice would you give to people looking to get into the industry? Practise being resilient, think of the big picture, always try and get outside your skin, and follow your heart.

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