The Australian Institute of Architects has launched a new philanthropic foundation that aims to highlight the importance of architecture and design within the Australian culture and community.
The Foundation will focus on architecture and design projects that positively impact the wider community through a national program of initiatives including exhibitions, scholarships and education programs.
The first initiative of the Foundation is an architecture residency program – Droga Architect in Residence – that is designed to encourage the exploration of new approaches, exchange of ideas and international collaborations by inviting international architects to participate in a three-month program.
“Architecture and design is a vital pillar of community wellbeing, and to ensure continued improvement of the quality of our built environments, we must develop outreach programs and initiatives to generate purposeful conversations about the benefit of good design,” said David Parken, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects. “It will also make architecture accessible to a more informed public – this is the guiding mission of the Foundation.”
The first architect in residence has now been selected from a strong field of international practitioners. The successful candidate is Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa, who has arrived from Barcelona for a 12 week residency program.
“Dr Fiol-Costa exemplifies the vision of the Institute and the Foundation through her commitment to design excellence, social well-being and environmental responsibility,” National President of the Australian Institute of Architects Paul Berkemeier said.
One of the fundraising initiatives of the Foundation will be a ‘Patrons Program’ that will also help draw architecture and design to the forefront of Australia’s creative consciousness.
The former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon AM OBE, will chair the Foundation.