Brisbane to host nation’s top architecture conference

News /
23 May 2011

2012 national conference - Beautiful one day, an ‘experience’ the next

The Australian Institute of Architects’ annual National Architecture Conference is heading north - with Brisbane set to host the event for the first time.

Traditionally alternating between Sydney and Melbourne, the conference attracts more than 1,000 attendees from Australia and abroad, and plays host to international speakers including the world’s leading architects and Pritzker Prize winners, landscape architects, thinkers, philosophers, architectural critics and authors.

Announcing the move, the Institute confirmed Brisbane-based architects and academics Shane Thompson, Michael Rayner and Peter Skinner have been appointed 2012 Creative Directors.

Together, the trio have played significant roles in Queensland’s dramatic rise in architectural acknowledgment nationally and internationally over the past decade, including key roles in:

  • Place Makers - the first exhibition of architecture held at the Gallery of Modern Art, 2007;
  • HEAT - the Queensland Government’s program elevating the profile of Queensland architects internationally, including at the Venice Biennale 2008 and 2010 and at Shanghai EXPO 2010;
  • Unlimited - Queensland’s Asia-Pacific Design Triennial held in October 2010.

The trio is keen to inject a strong Queensland flavour to the event, which features the theme ‘experience’. Describing their approach, they said: “We’ve chosen as a theme, a single word that carries a depth of meaning: experience. This term encapsulates the theoretical concept underpinning the conference; describes an important attribute sought in keynote speakers; informs the structure, character and conduct of associated events; and evokes an inspirational touchstone from popular culture.”

The 2012 National Architecture Conference Creative Directors are:

Shane Thompson
Formerly a Principal of BVN Architecture, Shane has recently formed his own practice, and continues as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland. He is a regular conference speaker and widely published and exhibited. He’s received numerous state and national awards. Key projects include Lavarack Barracks Redevelopment, University of the Sunshine Coast Faculty of Arts, Queensland College of Art and the RNA Redevelopment Master plan, Brisbane's largest urban renewal development, and the Athletes Village in London for 2012 Olympic Games. Shane is actively involved in broader cultural and environment concerns and has been appointed to the boards of a number of government, arts and environment organisations. In 2010 he was commissioned by the Queensland Government to curate an exhibition of recent Queensland Architecture and Design in Shanghai and he also chaired an Urban Design Seminar organised by QUT and the Government’s HEAT program in Venice for the 2010 Venice Biennale.

Michael Rayner AM Michael Rayner is the Principal of Cox Rayner Architects. He is a member of the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council, the Queensland Design Council, the Queensland Government Board of Urban Places, and the Brisbane City Council’s Board of Urban Futures. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and is Chair of the Architecture Advisory Board at Griffith University. Cox Rayner’s work focuses upon Queensland and Singapore, the Helix Bridge there winning a World Architecture Festival Award in Barcelona in 2010. Other notable projects are James Street Market and Thuringowa Riverway in Townsville which won AIA National Awards in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Further notable projects include the Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane Magistrates Court, Ipswich Justice Precinct and Marina Point Cairns. Current major projects are the 111 Eagle Street tower in the Brisbane CBD, the University of Queensland Oral Health Centre, the Griffith Health Centre and the expansion of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Among Michael’s many interests in architecture are collaborative design, environmental expression and structural exploration.

Associate Professor Peter Skinner
Associate Professor Peter Skinner FRAIA directs the Master of Architecture program at the University of Queensland, where he teaches architectural and urban design and architectural technology. He is also currently Queensland Chapter President. After graduation in 1980, he practiced with Queensland architects Russell Hall and Rex Addison, and taught in Launceston for five years before returning to UQ in 1990. His early research examined theories of critical regionalism, the history of Queensland architecture and the development of a novel lightweight house construction system. The St Lucia House, designed with his wife Elizabeth Watson-Brown, was awarded the 2000 RAIA Robin Dods Award and is a widely published expression of key ideas for appropriate subtropical living. His current design research seeks to develop more climatically appropriate urban housing, neighbourhood design and city form. The Master of Architecture studios that he currently directs aim to develop the design potential of the linear Southeast Queensland coastal city. Peter is an active architectural commentator and critic and has chaired the Public Affairs Committee of the Queensland Chapter for four years. He has an interest in supporting regional practice in Queensland and is external advisor to the PNGUT School of Architecture in Lae.

‘experience’ is scheduled for 10-12 May 2012, and will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with associated events to take place throughout the city. An inspiring list of potential international and national speakers are being approached, and an exciting program of building tours and satellite events around these dates are also in development.

Over the coming 12 months, the Institute will call on all members to attend as a show of emotional and financial support for their Queensland colleagues, and all those across the State, who continue to deal with the devastating impact of this year’s floods.

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