Sydney Architecture Festival (SAF) announces its 2013 program with more than 60 events across the greater Sydney from 1-10 November. This year the festival coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House, and there will be a whole string of Opera House events in celebration.
This year’s festival program is curated around the theme: “Your City, Your Community” with talk and tours, exhibitions and workshops, films, installations, art and parties getting locals and visitors, design-junkies and kids alike engaged with the built environment in myriad ways.
The official festival launch on 1 November is a party in Temperance Lane, outside the popular CBD bar, Grasshopper. Sydney’s burgeoning culture of small bars and laneway revival is largely thanks to its architects and creative community being encouraged by the City of Sydney Council to inhabit disused fine grain spaces through pop-ups and public art installations. A specially commissioned light sculpture by Steensen Varming will be unveiled outside Grasshopper at the launch.
Super Sydney returns to the festival with the 2013 brief ‘Imagining’, inviting ideas from Sydney-siders to transform areas within individual communities. A digital exhibition of the 40 most provocative submissions will be shown at the Sydney Opera House on 9 November, during a symposium about Sydney residents’ vision for the future of their city.
The MCA presents the annual Lloyd Rees Memorial Lecture by artist Melanie Smith and (Wo)man with Mirror, a re-enactment of British expanded cinema artist Guy Sherwin’s Man with Mirror: originally created in 1976, this work combines live performance with a super-8 film. The Powerhouse Museum will host a Beaux Arts Ball on 7 November, inspired by the neo-classical architecture and design teachings of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Nick Hollo hosts a two-hour walking tour of Cockatoo Island, one of only eleven Australian sites on the World Heritage Register. The Rocks Pop Up Space will host the Expanded Architecture exhibition of collaborative artwork exploring The Rocks district through the theme of Reverse Projections. Festival regular Tim Williams continues his erudition about Culture as a Catalyst – Urban Development a la Francaise with a talk at Alliance Francais about the Paris example of de-centralising in stimulating culture to stimulate regional growth, inviting discussion on an Australian context.
For the first time, the festival will have a Parramatta hub hosting talks, tours, exhibitions and the popular Archikidz workshop where children will be asked to redesign and imagine their city in 2050 through a 10-metre mural. Also west of the CBD, the Pearls of Granville guided mini-bus tour explores the unique architecture and social history of this gritty multi-cultural suburb. From the west to the north shore, Dr Ian Hoskins hosts a walking tour of Neutral Bay. The suburb is a goldmine of Federation architecture, inspired by the English and American revival designs, and the tour finishes with afternoon tea at ‘Nutcote’ – the waterfront home designed for artist and author May Gibbs in the 1920s by architect BJ Waterhouse.
Interestingly, this year’s Sydney Architecture Festival has attracted some Melbourne talent. Michael Holt premiers his experimental play Absolutely Relative at the festival before taking it to Storefront in New York, while Collingwood collective Sibling screens its production SOCIO-PATH: Spatial experiments in Film at the Surry Hills Golden Age Cinema.
Sydney Architecture Festival is presented by the NSW Architects Registrations Board and Australian institute of Architects (NSW Chapter). See the full program here.