The sudden passing of Zaha Hadid at the end of March was widely felt by the architecture and design community, and further afield. As online editor of Australian Design Review, there was little time for shock at the news before forming a response, reaching out to Hadid’s old friend, John Gollings, for his insight. This issue’s Future theme then became the right forum for Penny Craswell’s survey of some of Hadid’s most impactful built works, as we wait to find out the fate of her many unfinished works.
The very next week I found myself at the preview of The Pool, an immersive Australian exhibition featuring at the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale. The project is by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Aileen Toland and Amelia Sage Holliday) and urban strategist Michelle Tabet and has received nationwide support, with much made of the fact that young, female practitioners are leading the creative team. Huddled poolside in Fitzroy that night were some of Australia’s leading architects – the likes of Melissa Bright, Clare Cousins, Rachel Nolan and Victorian government architect, Jill Garner, who contributes Postview in this issue. There are yet many obstacles to achieving sustainable gender equity in this industry, but one hopes that the appointment of female architects in such highly visible positions continues and is indicative of a more balanced future for the profession – one I intend to represent in this publication.
And so, we arrive at the theme – Future. The practice of architecture is necessarily future-focused. It speculates how we might live, posits the architects’ aspirations for society at large and creates a built canvas for the public to project their own futures. From global firms to small practices, architects the world over are researching, testing and hypothesising solutions for projects that will shape our cities for decades – perhaps centuries – to come.
As society engages with mainstream representations of ‘good’ design and architecture, guided (or misguided) by rapid-fire renovations on ‘reality’ television, it is important that architects and designers continue to publicly advocate the elegant, considered solution, using their work to educate clients and end users on the long-term value of well-designed space.
AR – Future features projects and articles that suggest new ways forward for multi-residential, public space, education and the workplace. It demonstrates how our workplaces aspire to encourage healthier lifestyles and how our built environment is developing to engage communities and support our active ageing population. A new section, Spec Sheet, features the products that emerge from collaboration between architects and engineers, catering to the architects’ affinity for materials that accommodate their pursuit of innovation and for the tools required to master their trade.
We endeavour to open the conversation to diverse voices and stories – from independent local developers and emerging local talent to international ‘starchitects’, looking at smart interior spaces alongside sprawling landscapes.
AR 144 – Sky High is available now on newsstands and through Zinio.