Hello esteemed Kickstarter backers. I hoped to get an update on my research a bit earlier but time seems to fly when am playing connect-the-dots between Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. Catch up with the discoveries on my twitter feed using #hyperlocalarch.
I'm now on a plane to Tokyo for leg two of hyperlocal sustainable architecture with a vast Australian outback hiding below me under a haze. Of course their are plenty of stories about the great Australian cites and I was very fortunate to sit down and chat with 10 firms who are populating them with the cutting edge in low impact design. I also visited quite a few of the sites to video and photograph too. Australia's great buildings do indeed "unfold" and in many unexpected ways. It is a pleasure to see so much design based on solving complex issues of use, materials, energy and water. The one thing all the architects have in common is a need to make their buildings work exceptionally well and challenge themselves as well as the status quo.
For example Sean Godsell maybe well known for his small scale highly refined work but when he took me on a tour of his first tower all I could think of was he is a master of scale. The RMIT Design Hub, just adjacent to downtown Melbourne, is studded with thousands of glass disks which move when the sun needs to be diffused or let light straight into the classrooms and galleries. But he was playing some much subtler games inside. Certainly each space had a distinct use but his making them taller, longer or finished in a relentless grid makes transversing the spaces an actual experience. And being a design school his intent is to wake the occupants up, keeping them from feeling too comfortable with a predictable passage.
A dozen more ways [Australia Unfolds] has been explored and documented. Next stop Tokyo where [Japan Condenses] into little jewels of four dimensional living spaces. I have four interviews on the calendar and will make a swing to Kyoto to bow to the most profound buildings I have ever come across in glossy pages of books.
Architecture is at very real crossroads where the impact of design sets the model for replacing a form that contributes the most to climate change include making places that add to the human experience without stealing from other places or the future. I want more!
Also almost forgot to mention I was interviewed for a podcast by architecture photographer and recovering architect Nic Granleese, so I'll send a shout out when its up.
Rooftop Penthouse by MPRDG Architects in Bondi, Sydney from the future.
RMIT Design Hub by Sean Godsell in Melbourne.