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2020's scope of vision

edited April 2008 in - arch-peace theory
Just wondering, from someone who knows more about what went on at the 2020 ideas summit, where were the architects, planners et al? I read in the Weekend Australian that Michael Bryce was the only architect in the Creative group. He said he wasn't able to talk about what he knew (built environment, architecture, design) as the definition of 'creative' didn't seem to include these. He said that he thought he'd been put in the wrong forum... I think he meant that buildings were more of a subject of discussion in the Health group. I'm told Leon Van Schaik was present, but in Education.
Was the built environment discussed anywhere? I would have thought the much pumped Housing Affordability Crisis would have been discussed somewhere there?  Not to mention sustainable cities. When I have a mo I'll scout about the net to try to figure it out, but in the meantime - anyone know anything?


  • edited April 2008
    I share your concern Peter, it is devastating but somehow not surprising... Is it that architects/planners have nothing to say about the future, environment and creativity? Is it that our institutions (educational, professional institutions) are completely disconnected from whatever shapes the destiny of this country, so these professions are irrelevant in the view of the government? I am sure we can pose many more questions...
    How is it that among the Melbourne university delegates (one of the tops ranking universities in the world), there was not one delegate from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning (ABP)?
    I wish I was wrong, but this is what this university newsletter says (dated today 28.04.08), note that that ABP is not mentioned: 
    "A university is a natural home for inspired thinkers. So it was no surprise many members of our talented staff were among the delegates to the 2020 summit in Canberra over the weekend of 18 and 19 April.
    Contributing to the discussion and debate were:
    Professor Ian Anderson (Centre for Health and Society), Honorary Professorial Fellow Steve Bracks (Arts), Professor Graham Brown (Medicine), Professor Mark Considine (Arts), Professor Suzanne Cory (WEHI), Dr Kylie Cripps (School of Population Health), Julia Fraser (Asialink), Professor Joshua Gans (Melbourne Business School), Professor Ian Harper (Melbourne Business School), Dr Barry Jones (Education), Professor David Karoly (Earth Sciences), Professor Marcia Langton (School of Population Health), Professor Tim Lindsey (Law), Professor Barry McGaw (Education), Professor Rob Moodie (Nossal Institute), Andrew Norton (Office of the Vice-Chancellor), Professor Cheryl Saunders (Law), Professor Collette Tayler (Education) and Dr Sally Young (Media and Communications).
    Other delegates closely associated with the University included members of Council Paul Briggs and Professor Peter Dawkins, Louise Adler from Melbourne University Press, former Dean of Education Professor Brian Caldwell, and conductor/ music educator Richard Gill. Three Melbourne students, Serenity Hill (Land & Food Resources), Sana Nakata (Arts) and Alan Wu (Arts/Law) were selected as well, while UMSU President Libby Buckingham participated in the Youth Summit."
  • edited May 2008
    Having criticised the role of universities in my earlier comment, particularly the role of the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, I was thrilled to find out that some voices are loudly coming out from within the walls of academia.
    Yesterday (May 6, 2008), an entire supplement was published in The Age (Melbourne newspaper) as an insert by the University of Melbourne and the editors Mark Baker and Royce Miller, both of them permanent contributors to The Age.
    Under the title of “Swimming against the tide: blueprint for Melbourne vision versus reality”, these articles deal with the ‘real’ city of Melbourne, one that is growing beyond any ecological reasoning, a car dependant city, a socially divided city.
    The above photograph represents the larger reality of Melbourne, that of its ever growing fringes (photo source: The Age). For example, the internet article cites:
    Median house prices for the March quarter
    Brunswick $605,000

    Camberwell $1.21 million

    Doncaster $675,000

    Hawthorn $1.19 million

    Kensington $580,500

    Maribyrnong $666,000

    Northcote $685,000

    Williamstown $725,000

    Berwick $397,500

    Caroline Springs $307,500

    Deer Park $274,500

    Hoppers Crossing $266,000

    Keilor Downs $310,000

    Melton $211,000

    Narre Warren $290,000

    Werribee $230,000
    I am aware that I am drifting away from your original comment on 2020 Peter, but it is still related to ideas for the city's future, planning, vision and the taking of responsibility for what we do. Unfortunately, it seems that none of the contributors to this suplement is an architect--please anyone, correct me if I am wrong.   
    Find all the articles: The Age,
  • edited May 2008
    I share your concern as well. I wrote to the 2020 thingo, too late to be included in the roll call on the website but none the less, we are all invited to write to the dept of prime minister and cabinet to add our thoughts on the matter. Also, apparently the lines of communication will be thrown open again in the near future (after the first report is finished I am guessing) in which case you can visit the 2020 website to include more submissions.
    I wrote to say that the Fed. Govt. should seriously consider making sustainable design of all new building mandatory and retrofitting a condition of sale for all existing structures. It sounds extreme but already similar rules applies in European countries. In my post re fee chargings (I think) I wrote about the new and lauded Stocklands project on the outskirts of Melbourne which is trumpeted as the first of its kind, in that it includes Planners and Government depts in the descisions that the developers make regarding whole of site sustainability issues. Gasp, shock, flutter! And here I was thinking that that was par for the course. But no mention of individual houses being sustainable. It's as if the Nederlands and Germany don't exist as examples of mass sustainble development projects. Not to mention the UK now has some three huge sustainable projects underway and South Korea I hear is starting a sustainable city. China has one sustainable city already half constructed south of Shanghi and there is a high end development of 50 or so sustainable houses behind the Gold Coast that has each house individually designed by seperate architects each having a sustainability brief. Meanwhile the HIA and the Master Builders Association are apparently calling for more stringent application of star ratings and mandatory provisions because even though they know it will do good, add value and create jobs, they complain that clients aren't interested because to clients it is simply an out of pocket expense issue.
    I'll say it again, we have to stop this attitude that the client is infalliable and to that end, mandatory sustainable design and government funded incentive schemes to retrofit existing housing stock has to occur if we are to make even a tiny dent in climate change. Because it seems that as sure as shit, clients wont do it off thier own back and legions of designers and architects don't want to 'bight the hand that feeds them'.
    It'll have to start with Universities I suppose making the development of teaching guides for sustainable design a high priority. As I understand it most universities barely mention it in their courses and to date as far as I am aware only three teach sustainable design as part of their degrees. Launceston, Deakin Geelong Waterfront and now Melbourne. UNSW has Glenn Murcott but he takes post graduate classes.
    It is pretty lamentable that the science depts of all the major Universities around the world have been warning that climate change was real for nearly twenty years and yet in the next staff room and at the canteen aisles architects have by and large completely failed to grasp the nettle.
    Even Philip Stark realises what a load of meaningless twaddle he's indulged himself in over the years has cost in terms of time devoted to tackling climate change. Norman Foster doesn't have to pander to uneducated prats demanding bloated psuedo colonial McMansions. We need a high profile architect to take a similar stand in this country so that all architects can demand their clients take seriously the implications of what they are wanting built and so charge unashamedly for good ESdesign, and we need legislation to back them up.
    But first we need to teach to bloody stuff I suppose!!
  • edited May 2008
    Just found another architect who went to 2020! Rachel Peck
    I was in a car coming back from Lorne the other day, coming back from Bacchus Marsh the week before, and Echuca the week before that - and I was surprised to see eaveless wonders still being built by the hundred in the outer burbs and regional towns. In 2008! They've all achieved their 5 stars by shrinking the windows by the looks of things. No water tanks (unless they were buried) or even trees  to be seen. Plenty of a/c units dotting the roofs. I've always suspected 5star was basically written by HIA - while the resulting bloatbox might be more energy-efficient (if used well) than its precursors, how is it even beginning to address sustainablity.
    Apart from affordability and sustainability, which is understandably in the limelight at the moment, what could a bright spark architect have to offer at 2020? Is there any other public role for design in the future that can't be filed under sustainability. What of  firmness, commodity, and delight? Or are these just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic?
  • edited 3:00PM
    I don't see why firmness commodity and delight and any other room for creative design expression can't coexist with enviromentaly sustainable design. After all any number of expressive designs have to coexist with fire regulations and physics. That is all that sustainable design entails when you get into the nitty gritty. It is just solar regulations and ecological physics.
    I reckon that a way forward is the promotion where possible of low rise apartment living. That one shift in the housing demographic of Australia's love affair with the quarter acre block would go a long way towards making the implimentation of sustainable design a fait acompli.
    The design skills have to, as always, be underpinned and informed by the design constraints.
    I don't believe it is rearranging deck chairs as any effort made is another step in the right direction. The planet is not sinking, our society is and in that realm we can achieve change. The planet will bounce back even if it takes a million years after we are gone. But we haven't gone yet and there is a lot to do. I despair when I think that fundamentalist religious freaks just aren't pulling thier weight on this issue but to despair of that would waste my breath and time when i could be ranting on this and other forums and when I have finished my studies I am gonna rant in public, at my job, on the streets and where ever I can to get sustainable design taken seriously as a bloody good answer to climate change. In time is any time now. I love this challenge and I think the change that will eventually come about in response to global warming will actually be a rennaisance of design, firmness commodity and delight like the world has never seen. Bring it on!
  • edited June 2008
    "I share your concern as well. I wrote to the 2020 thingo, too late to be included in the roll call on the website but none the less, we are all invited to write to the dept of prime minister and cabinet to add our thoughts on the matter. Also, apparently the lines of communication will be thrown open again in the near future (after the first report is finished I am guessing) in which case you can visit the 2020 website to include more submissions."
    Peter, Simon, please let us know if you decide to submit again. As arch-peace we should be adding our penny's worth.  
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