Glenn Murcutt AO recently became the recipient of the inaugural Seidler Chair in the Practice of Architecture at UNSW.
Gifted by Dr Penelope Seidler, in tribute to her late husband and renowned architect Harry Seidler, the Chair promises to benefit students by providing them with close tutelage from distinguished practicing architects within a new international design studio for graduating students, also funded by Dr Seidler.
The choice of Murcutt as the Chair’s first recipient is a reflection of the close relationship he and Harry Seidler shared and a recognition of his influence and prestigious position within the international design community.
“I am excited about this collaboration with UNSW,” Dr Seidler said. “I am a member of the Faculty’s Advisory Council and I care very much about education, particularly in architecture.”
“As an internationally renowned architect and a dedicated teacher, Glenn embodies all the qualities we hoped for in this role. I couldn’t think of anyone better.”
Murcutt is a long-time contributor to the education of younger architects, with such innovations as the annual Glenn Murcutt International Architecture Master Class, this year to be held in one of his own public contributions, the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre.
Described by the ABC’s Peter Thompson on Talking Heads as “the closest thing to a truly Australian architect”, in 2002 Murcutt received the internationally acclaimed Pritzker Prize in celebration of a lifetime of architectural contributions and innovations.
Famous for his ambiguously simple yet complex houses, Murcutt echoed his design ethos in conversation with Thompson. “What are the three most important things in life? The first one’s simplicity. Second one, simplicity. And, of course, the third one’s simplicity.”
It is a lesson amongst many that Murcutt is sure to impart on those benefiting from the inaugural Seidler Chair, as Dr Seidler’s contributions celebrate the continuous malleability and development of the design industry via the education of each new generation.
“I teach because I have a great love of architecture and design,” said Murcutt. “And I believe teaching makes a good architect a better one.”