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Mentoring the future of architecture with Ara Salomone

Mentoring the future of architecture with Ara Salomone


Australian Design Review’s (ADR) 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World program, welcomes Perth-based design studio State of Kin’s design director and co-founder, Ara Salomone, as a judge and mentor. 

With a portfolio spanning residential, hospitality, retail, wellness, and commercial spaces, State of Kin has gained recognition for its fusion of aesthetics and functionality. 

Invaluable support network

As Salomone prepares to take on the role of a mentor and judge in the upcoming stream of the ADR‘s 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators Program, she discussed what motivated her to become involved and share her expertise with the next generation of architectural talent. 

“I had the privilege of mentoring in last year’s ADR 30UNDER30 Interior and Product Designers program. My passion for this program stems from my own career challenges – having a supportive network like this would have been invaluable during those times,” says Salomone.

“I believe in fostering innovation and growth in architecture by guiding young talents, which is why I’m excited to mentor in the 30UNDER30 program. Sharing expertise ensures a strong future for the field. I also greatly value learning from them – their thoughts, passions, and struggles. It enhances my leadership in my own practice.”

Responding to ongoing changes

Looking forward to her mentorship role, Salomone envisions tailoring guidance to the unique challenges that young architects face in a rapidly evolving architectural landscape. 

“I plan to tailor my guidance by addressing current challenges and opportunities, leveraging my experience to provide practical insights that align with the changes in the architectural field,” she continues.

“Drawing from my experiences, I possess a wealth of knowledge about overcoming setbacks. I’m committed to sharing these insights with the cohort to aid their journey,” says Salomone.

Expanding horizons

Salomone plans to encourage her mentees to think beyond conventions while maintaining architectural integrity. 

“I aim to inspire my mentees to embrace interdisciplinary collaboration, integrate technology, enabling them to push boundaries while upholding architectural authenticity,” she says.

“Additionally, to deconstruct architecture into its true essence and purpose, emphasising the importance of understanding what we are capable of as creators. Beginning with fundamentals, shifting focus from solely the end outcome, and finding joy in the journey of creation.”

Never-ending learning process

She’s excited about the opportunity to listen and be inspired by fresh perspectives from the ADR 30UNDER30 architecture and innovators of the built world cohort. 

“Expecting a mutual exchange, interactions with mentees will refresh my architectural outlook. Their unique ideas and creativity will inspire me to rethink norms, embrace innovation, and approach design with renewed energy,” she says. 

Salomone anticipates fostering a sense of community and collaboration among mentees.

“I’ll promote community by encouraging open discussions and shared experiences among mentees. This way, they’ll learn not just from me, but also from each other’s diverse insights and strengths.”

Securing a future of sustainability and cultural sensitivity 

Fast forward a few years from now, reflecting on her time as a mentor in the ADR 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators Program, Salomone hopes to see the impact of this mentorship initiative.

“I’d love to see mentees excelling as influential architects with innovative, sustainable designs, elevating the architectural landscape. I hope they can foster open discussions on career challenges in a nurturing and supportive community.”

“The program should promote collaboration and networking across firms while striving for work-life balance. The ultimate goal is to see the industry embrace innovation, cultural sensitivity, community projects, and sustainability,” she finishes. 

Australian Design Review 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World stream is brought to you by major sponsor Neolith, alongside Miele and Tongue & Groove

The program is supported by practice partners BVN, HDR INC, SJB, Richard Stanisich, Williams Burton Leopardi, and Billard Leece Partnership.

Photography supplied by State of Kin.


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