The 2021 ArchiTeam Conference is an action-packed virtual conference with satellite events to help us connect and share.
“The real work of an architect today is to have a vision of the future of life” (Jean Nouvel)
Against the backdrop of a precarious and uncertain world, it feels like it has never been more challenging for architects. Architecture is a permanent act in a rapidly changing environment. The stationary against the seismic.
Post pandemic lockdowns, many Australians have a newfound appreciation for what it means to dwell in a space, in a community, and in a city. In the workplace, open-plan offices with hot-desking are now decidedly outdated. Whilst at home, studies, and private open space has never been more valuable. In cities, spatial qualities and relationships have also been brought sharply into focus. Public parks have never been more enticing for their essential rejuvenating qualities, whilst the reduced vehicle traffic during the crisis offered a glimpse of a possible rebalanced future.
For all of the upheaval and shockwave delivered by the virus, the bigger environmental crises still remain. What is the role of the architect in this? What should our new vision be? What needs to change? What will remain the same?
The 2021 ArchiTeam conference will explore the future trajectories for design, practice, and business that will enable architects to rise to the challenge.
Trajectories will look to the future to critically examine how architects should respond to unprecedented and rapid change. How can small & sole practitioners test design leadership, business strategy, collaboration, and disruptive innovation to achieve positive outcomes in a world that looks very different compared to the last 5 years.
The ArchiTeam National Conference is offering 8 Formal CPD points.
Architecture by its very nature must take a position on the future. The very act of design is entirely about conceiving future space and the human interactions with that space. What design assumptions do architects need to rethink in the aftermath of a global pandemic?
Key to this rethink will be a solid basis in economic reality. Architects are continually being asked to do more with smaller budgets, a challenge that will no doubt continue as our economy moves into a recovery phase.
To consider the future we also must better understand our past. What lessons can be learnt from previous turmoil, economic downturns and natural disasters that might put our built environment on a more resilient and sustainable trajectory?
In considering these trajectories it is timely to think beyond the few buildings we produce to consider the broader legacy of design on communities.
Keynote - Jing Liu (SO–IL ), USA
Jing Liu has been practicing for more than 15 years working on a wide range of projects both in the US and abroad. Through building practice and interdisciplinary research projects, Liu has led SO–IL in the engagement with the socio-political issues of contemporary cities — in projects like the Artists Loft North Omaha and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Cleveland. Her projects range from artistic collaborations with contemporary choreographers and visual artists to master plan and major public realm design in cities like Melbourne and Indianapolis.
Liu brings an intellectually open, globally aware, and locally sensitive perspective to architecture. Her intellectual curiosity and artistic imagination allow her to bring a more nuanced cultural perspective to the table. Her keen skills in combining digital technology with traditional craft and firm belief in design’s ability to re-engage people with the physical world around them allow the buildings she designs to become places of exchange that welcome interpretation and transformation.
Keynote - Antony Martin
Antony Martin started MRTN Architects ten years ago and has a reputation for their unique style and the recognisable homes created specifically for the families and individuals that live in them.
Award winning city, country and coastal homes that are sustainable and contemporary. Experienced in designing to local council requirements, including BAL and bushfire prone areas, they are also recognised for sensitive response to projects situated within heritage overlays. Their projects, regardless of scale or type, have in common a considered design approach that results in buildings that use materials wisely and are correctly oriented, sized and proportioned.
Antony believes in approaching all projects with an optimism for what is possible and enjoys sharing the process of designing with his clients. He is curious about how we think of our homes, how we use them now versus how they might be used in the future, the relationship of self and place and how to create meaning from where we live. It is this potential for architecture to engage with people and ideas that he sees as the future for architectural practice.
Panellist - David O'Brien
Dr. David O’Brien is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. David has a keen interest in the links between construction processes and housing cultures – particularly the ways residents adapt post-disaster housing and self-managed incremental housing.
For 13 years David has coordinated the Bower Studio program working with remote communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea. His team links masters level students to work alongside community groups to design and build infrastructure such as culture precincts, health clinics, education facilities and composting toilets.
Panellist - Laura Harding
Laura Harding is a Sydney based designer and writer who has worked with the studio of Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects since 1996.
Her work encompasses a wide range of urban, multiple housing and architectural projects, many of which have received industry awards.
Laura’s architectural writing and criticism has been widely published in a range of architectural journals, news media and monographs, and she was awarded the Adrian Ashton Prize for architectural criticism in 2013.
Panellist - Jacques Sheard
Growing up in Melbourne, Jacques Sheard began exploring the city from a young age, fostering a passion for its unique architectural textures. An early introduction to photography enabled the recording of their rich built environment, leading to a more serious study of the craft at Photography Studies College from 1997 to 1999. Subsequently, experimentation with the video function of a new DSLR camera initiated an increasing interest in film making, which now forms the majority of Jacque's work.
Whether a commissioned work from a heritage organisation, a grant funded documentary or a small visual piece purely initiated by self interest, the common driving force through every project is the filmmaker's intense enthusiasm for the urban environment, past, present and future.
Jacques is also a chief writer and content provider for Footpath Guides, a series of architectural walking guides focussing on the historical built environment of Melbourne and Sydney.
It was not that long ago that professions were considered a constant. Yet in the age of rapid disruption, it has never been more important for architectural practice to adapt and evolve.
What are the trajectories of architectural practice that will enable us to imagine, design and deliver the future built environments?
With the COVID 19 crisis, the Australian Architecture profession performed a rapid transition to working from home. This emergency measure proved the value of flexible practices. However, it was also a challenge for architects to design and collaborate remotely and left many leaders wondering how to best look after their team.
As we recover from this crisis the question remains as to how we should practice, with whom should we be looking to collaborate and what are the new protocols that we should be working towards.
Keynote - Simone Bliss
Landscape architect Simone Bliss, is the founder and creative director of Melbourne + Launceston based SBLA studio, a design studio focused on civic projects, multi-residential housing and design with play. SBLA Studio were recently awarded the National AILA Award for Nightingale 2.0 and System Garden Boardwalk at the University of Melbourne's Parkville Campus. Their projects aim to create curiosity and delight whilst focusing on ways to insert the Australian Landscape into Australia's ever expanding cities.
After having her first child, Simone began to question the traditional rules of the workplace. Through SBLA Simone continues to test an alternative model of practice. The team work flexibly, are all part time to allow for life and work to blur rather than being seen as a balancing act. They work together as peers in the core design team or as project collaborators. SBLA aims to provide a workplace that encourages staff to feel both empowered and nurtured.
Simone teaches at the University of Melbourne and is part of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architect’s mentoring program.
Panellist - Matthew Alfred
Matthew Alfred is a Graduate of Architecture working with ARM Architecture’s Adelaide Office. Through work both in Australia and abroad, Matthew has explored the future of architectural practice and the greater role of the architect within society.
In 2020 Matthew was awarded the Jack Hobbs McConnell Travelling Fellowship by the Australian Institute of Architects South Australian Chapter, to study Radical Practice. An international scholarship to study the ways that architecture practices around the world are evolving the role of the architect, diversifying the practice and helping to protect it against economic volatility.
Panellist - Kirsten Day
Dr Kirsten Day is a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Previously, she was Course Director of Interior Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology. She is involved with programs researching health, wellness, and design for differing abilities.
Kirsten is a registered Architect and director of Norman Day + Associates Architects with over 20 years experience working in the profession. Her publications, workshops, and studios explore themes of future scenarios and the impact of change on the architectural profession and the human condition.
Panellist - Ben Shields
Ben Shields leads DREAMER and is an architect fascinated by our relationship to the environments we inhabit and why we experience them differently. He has been awarded and exhibited design work internationally including the RIBA Silver Medal and KRob Architecture Competition.
Locally he has led and contributed to projects that have been awarded at the State and National Architecture Awards, IDEA Awards, Interior Design Awards and Archieam Awards.
Ben is a current member of the Australian Institute of Architects National Committee For Gender Equity
With change comes opportunity. The business futures perspective will look to unpack what these opportunities might be.
It will draw upon business acumen from beyond the architecture profession to question our business practices and challenge our status quo. Should architect be looking to expand their service offering, or perhaps we need to become more specialised? If architects can fine tune our business practices, it enables us to support our broader objectives.
Critically, it is also prudent to ask what does success look like? Do we need to re-frame our parameters of success?
Keynote - Jenny Edwards
Jenny Edwards is the sole owner and Director of Light House Architecture and Science, a multi-award-winning practice that integrates science into the design process to deliver highly efficient, climate-resilient homes in the Canberra region.
She is not an architect. Jenny has a Masters degree in science and is an ACT licensed Building Energy Efficiency Assessor. She has been doing theoretical energy efficiency testing of designs using thermal performance simulation software, and physical building-envelope testing of built projects, since 2009 (and is very proud of her thermal camera, blower door and now PM2.5 meters).
With over 100 projects in Canberra, Light House has demonstrated that there is growing demand for smaller, smarter, sustainable housing. Jenny and her team are also passionate about communicating the science and architecture of sustainable housing to a broad audience, and they regularly participate in educational and public awareness raising events.
In 2019, Jenny was awarded the Clem Cummings Medal by the ACT branch of the Institute of Architects in recognition of her contributions to architecture and the built environment. In 2015, she won the 'Outstanding in Industry' award from the ACT branch of the National Association of Women in Construction. In 2018 her personal home won the national HIA GreenSmart Sustainable Home of the Year award. Jenny is very big on walking the talk and advocating for evidence-based home design.
Keynote - Dan Monheit
Dan Monheit is cofounder of Hardhat, Australia's foremost creative agency built around Behavioural Science. He consults to many of the country's largest brands, and has been invited to present on the topic at leading global events including SXSW in Austin Texas.
Dan's Bad Decisions podcast regularly features in the 'top podcast' charts and draws listeners from over 90 countries. His Behavioural Science book, “Terrible Advice for Excellent Marketers” will be released in 2021.
Panellist - Michael Bleby
Michael Bleby is a senior reporter and deputy property editor of The Australian Financial Review. He has been a business journalist for the past two decades and has been reporting on architecture, design and property for BRW and the Financial Review since 2012.
In 2020 he received a commendation under the Adrian Ashton Prize for Architectural Culture and Literature for his feature writing about Parliament House in Canberra.
Panellist - Celeste Bolte
Celeste Bolte is a communications consultant working with exceptional businesses within the arts, architecture and design professions.
Originally hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Celeste moved to London to spend two successful years at the helm of an architecture-focused media platform before launching her own communications consultancy in 2020.
A strategic thinker specialising in digital marketing, Celeste has worked for large-scale and boutique design practices over 8+ years of in-house and consulting roles. Celeste is a seasoned presenter and writer, and has partnered with Never Too Small, the Museum of Architecture, and the London Festival of Architecture on sold-out events, a YouTube series, and workshops about the importance of communications in the design industry.
Panellist - Ross Clark
Ross is the founder and managing director of WhyWhatHow, a national management consultancy that coaches and advises architectural businesses to become more strategic, effective and profitable. He also advises developers, governments and institutions on architect selection and the management of design competitions.
His depth of knowledge comes from direct, personal experience of architecture from every perspective – as practice owner/founder, teacher, client, employee, jury member, policymaker, competition and client adviser, and association executive.
Ross has an extensive track record of enhancing business performance, helping generate sustainable growth and equipping practices to clarify their core purpose, create an inspiring vision, and effectively manage change, both strategic and operational.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Australasian Society of Association Executives.
Putting all these perspectives together, what are the future trajectories architects should be designing towards? How can architects position align leadership, business strategy, collaboration and disruptive innovation to achieve positive outcomes in a world that looks very different compared to the last 5 years.
Keynote - Jeremy Till, UK
Jeremy Till is an architect, educator and writer. As an architect, he worked with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects on their pioneering building, 9 Stock Orchard Street, winner of many awards including the 2004 RIBA Sustainability Prize, and recently featured on the front cover of the Architects Journal with the headline: “Is this the most influential house of its generation?” As an educator, Jeremy is Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Arts London. As a writer, his extensive work focusses on the social and environmental aspects of architecture. His influential books Flexible Housing, Architecture Depends and Spatial Agency all won the RIBA President’s Award for Research – a unique run of success in this prestigious international prize. He curated the UK Pavilion at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale and also at the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
Panellist - Leisa Hart
As an organisational change and transformation specialist, Leisa is passionate about a world where leaders and their teams have the resilience capacity to effectively navigate change and disruption. This is the work that she loves and it’s particularly important now as we integrate the work of people with intelligent technology.
Over the last 10 years, Leisa has focused on delivering high quality change delivery solutions centred on leading behaviour change principles and practices that achieve maximum return on investment. Her key focus is using science-based strategies (grounded in Neuroscience and Psychology) to help harness the potential of individuals and teams to create a culture of high engagement, deep connections and great performance.
During her career she has coached leaders and led large change programs across international (UK and Mexico) and domestic markets.
As a fundamental engagement approach, Leisa is skilled at designing and co-creating with senior level leaders and delivery teams on the core aspects of change required specifically for each organisation. This includes leveraging her core capabilities across communications, sponsor and leader coaching, change champion building, risk mitigation, resistance management, change success measurement, training and agile change practices.
She is an accredited Change First practitioner and certified Brain Based Executive Coach (My Brain Solutions Academy & IECL Levels 1,2 & 3). She has a post graduate certificate in Neuro Leadership and all of this informs the strategies and practical actions she uses each day in working with our clients. This is how we help harness the potential of individuals and teams to deliver for organisations and communities.
Panellist - Suzie Barnett
When Suzie was 17 she was told she would marry a farmer or work as a local bank teller. She did neither of those things. Instead, she helped to establish the Green Building Council of Australia and the World Green Building Council, becoming one of the early leaders in the green building movement globally. In 2016 she joined the Board of the Living Future Institute of Australia and is currently the Chair of their Biophilic Design Initiative.
In 2017, she became the General Manager of Junglefy, where she is responsible for business growth, operations, people and culture.
Suzie is passionate about restorative, resilient cities and innovative ways to reconnect people to nature to create greater health and wellbeing.
Panellist - Nicole Kalms
Nicole is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design and founding director of the Monash University XYX Lab which leads national and international research in Gender and Place. In this role, Dr Kalms is leading two significant research projects 'Urban Exposure: Interactively Mapping the Systems of Sexual Violence in Cites' and 'Women and Girls Only: Understanding the Spaces of Sexual Harassment in Public Transport'. These projects are in partnership with state, national and international stakeholders.
Nicole has a PhD in Architecture from Monash University. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Architecture (RMIT) and a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture (RMIT). Nicole is currently a full-time member of Monash University’s Faculty Art, Design and Architecture where she is focused on cross-disciplinary research.
The innovation of Kalms’ research is the examination of digital, experiential, political and material interventions collated to articulate both the shared and conflicted struggles of women and girls internationally. Her praxis repositions design as a strategic tool for challenging gender inequity.
Thank you to our very important and values sponsors who make our events possible