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, 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 In the workplace, open-plan offices with hot-desking are now decidedly outdated.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 have 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 & medium 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.
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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.
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.
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 Architeam 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.
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.
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.