It was a joy to tour Bundanon with Kerstin Thompson, to learn first-hand about the motivations behind the project in its complex context, and to see how these led to an elegant strategy that offers completely new perspectives of the Bundanon site. The tour revealed how this strategy engaged with historical layers, meanings and viewpoints and offered a powerful re-reading, a broader reading, that celebrates the site for the ecological and geographic systems that underpin it.
I also really enjoyed the opportunity to wander the site with architecture and landscape architecture colleagues and share a very special lunch in the Glenn Murcutt building.
This was an excellent event: impeccably organized, full of great and relevant content. I found the underlying premise to be very evocative. The Broader Landscape theme asked us to consider how we understand and ascribe meaning to landscape, and what it means to build upon a place.
The Architecture Symposium: A Broader Landscape was an immersive, rewarding and thought-provoking day. It provided an opportunity to reconnect with friends and peers in a focused environment, enabling us to reflect on what we have been doing and regroup on what’s important to us in the future.
The line-up of speakers curated by Kerstin and Phillip provided a diverse cross-section of inputs, provoking thought and creating a narrative of connected threads for consideration and reflection.
As always, Architecture Media delivered a friendly, accessible, professional and seamlessly organized event – skilfully fostering an educational and rewarding arena for engaging with friends, peers and the wider architectural community.
After attending many Design Speaks events since their inception, I was excited to attend the Architecture Symposium: Truth or Dare, and return to some normality after the pandemic. I was reminded of, and touched by, how important these events are to the architecture community. The organizers and curators understood their assignment – and provided an opportunity to share, learn and bolster ourselves and our peers.
Truth or Dare reignited our emotions and our inspirations. It helped me to reconnect with colleagues from other states and share stories of our hardships and our wins. Listening to the amazing line-up of speakers felt like conversations with friends, as eight generous architects shared their stories. We heard about the ups and downs of those we look up to, and discovered that there is always joy to be found in our architecture.
The initial draw was a well put together set of local practices, whose work we admire and follow closely. But for me the highlight was the concise set of questions the curators asked of each of the practices. This elicited an honest and insightful response that is rarely heard in public talks. I found the investigation between the early childhood memory of space as a child vs. how we conceptualize space as practitioners, a fascinating and richly told story. It was refreshingly absent from the usual portfolio beauty contest, instead becoming a critical self reflection of profoundly personal spaces that have had a deep influence on how we work.
The smaller audience made it an intimate affair, and combined with getting everyone back in a room together, post COVID, made the whole atmosphere hum. And catching up with our Melbourne mates is always such a pleasure.
Rachel Nolan and Karen Alcock curated a superb line-up of speakers at the recent Architecture Symposium in Melbourne. Through the sharing of a “truth” they “dared” each to be honest about their projects and in turn revealing of their practice. Each of the presentations was thoughtful, personal and insightful, refreshing the mood of a room full of weary architects. After two years of COVID lockdowns, exhausting online events and challenging industry conditions, it was wonderful to be together again.
As somewhat of an architecture conference “junkie”, I am always delighted to attend Design Speaks events which are beautifully curated, expertly briefed and diligently organized. Profiling old favourites and introducing new practitioners, these events provide an opportunity to reflect on past, current and future practice, challenging us all to do better.
The Architecture Symposium: Truth or Dare was a welcome opportunity to reconnect with the profession following the post-lockdown years. It was a privilege to experience the buzz of people gathered in one space and to engage, once again, in chance encounters and new connections.
The speakers were diverse in their interests and they were varied in their presentation styles. The broad spectrum of presentations provided a framework to reflect on one’s own practice. It sharpened my understanding of how I practise, as well as offering new threads of interest to follow.
Although diverse, there were common challenges that the speakers grappled with, highlighting the issues that face the profession today. How do we build with less? How do we balance our client’s wishes with other agendas such as civic contribution and sustainability?
Truth or Dare offered inspiring and informative content, delivered at an engaging and energetic pace. I’m looking forward to the next one.
It was a treat to be able to attend the Design Speaks event The Architecture Symposium: Truth or Dare, curated by Karen Alcock and Rachel Nolan. Unlike broader based conferences, Truth or Dare was focused on residential projects that were presented by some very impressive and respected Australian residential architects. It felt that the whole audience was a self-selected bunch of “resi” architects or at least architects interested in houses. This resulted in a conference that felt casual and familial, there was a sense that presenters were speaking directly to those in the room and were being very open in the way in which they shared their personal life experience as well as the homes that they had designed.
The whole Studio Prineas team travelled together to Naarm, Melbourne, to attend The Architecture Symposium: Truth or Dare in July.
We all felt that this event was a long awaited opportunity to connect in-person with the architecture community, and hear some of our most respected peers discuss their work. While the symposium delivered on this expectation perfectly, what we hadn’t anticipated was the immense joy, rawness, authenticity and humour of each individual speaker, as well as from the incredibly insightful Co-curators, Karen Alcock and Rachel Nolan.
Karen and Rachel, in collaboration with Architectural Media put together a programme that inspired and connected our community, and the excitement in the room was palpable. This symposium has set the bar incredibly high for those which follow, and as a team we look forward to future Design Speaks events, for both the content and the connection to community.
The Architecture Symposium: Truth or Dare was a refreshing and entertaining day. Enlightening, light-hearted and heartfelt, the format was intelligently structured yet relaxed. Bringing together a well-curated and diverse group of presenters, each from varied backgrounds and experiences. The personal insights shared made for an inspiring and thought-provoking event.
The quality of Design Speak events is always high, and the format of this symposium allowed for a good length of time for each presenter – that was not too long, nor too short, too much or too little. A more relaxed and conversational style, drawing on personal life experiences, revealed how early events in our lives can shape our design approaches and result in the some of the richest and most interesting outcomes.
I highly recommend the Design Speak events. They are a wonderful way to take time out for a moment from an otherwise busy and hectic schedule, to reflect on your own work, and the work of others, as well as providing a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends. Always well organized and pleasantly unexpected. I’ve always found these symposiums an invaluable way to reflect and re-set.
The Architecture Symposium in Sydney was an opportunity to see many wonderful architects present their buildings and ideas in a succinct, direct way. I listened to presentations by people that I'd not seen before, and was impressed by the ideas and deep understanding imbued in their projects.
This is one of the best annual events for me because I'm very interested in buildings, and what they can do for people. It was succinct, relevant and topical.
Design Speaks events are well organized and of high quality and I would recommend them to other professionals that we work with, especially engineers, design managers and project managers.
The quality of presenters at The Architecture Symposiums is extremely and consistently high and the subject matter for Sydney was extremely relevant and timely. I really enjoy a day out of the office and time to reflect on the practice of architecture. It was great to see old pals and meet new people in the industry.
I love that Design Speaks engages respected architects to curate the sessions. It means the quality is always high. I will definitely be attending the event again and will be recommending it to colleagues and encouraging my team to attend.
The quality of the speakers and the way this event was organized made it an absolute pleasure to attend. Rufus Black gave an entertaining and intellectual introduction about the ethics of practising architecture in today’s society. The local architects (Taylor and Hinds and Liminal Studio) gave very insightful talks about their beautifully crafted work. Penny Fuller, Andrew Burns, and the two overseas speakers James Grimley and Cazù Zegers also spoke very well of their thoughtful and interesting projects.
It was also great to catch up with colleagues from all over Australia in a relaxed atmosphere. I’ll be looking out for the next series of talks by Design Speaks.
The combined Architecture Symposium in Hobart and site visit to Bruny Island was a rewarding experience. The site visit [to the farm and residences by John Wardle Architects] was the outstanding success of the weekend, offering the great pleasure of seeing a home-grown masterwork in the company of so many fellow professionals, made all the more accessible by having John Wardle on the spot to explain his approach and answer the many questions.
There was a real point of difference from most design talk-focused events, with the symposium on the first day providing some excellent themed insights from local practitioners as well as local project work being delivered by architects from other locations. The addition of two overseas speakers added to the value proposition offered up for the whole weekend. The ability to go out on site the next day as a full immersion made for a balanced and insightful experience.
It is important for Australian architects to celebrate and understand the depth of commitment achieved by fellow members of the profession and to enjoy the rich and varied landscape we have. I look forward to the next immersion and journey of discovery.
At the recent symposium and tour in Hobart, the creative selection and authenticity of the speakers was refreshing and focused. The relevant subjects and carefully crafted program, in an inviting venue, provided relaxed and informal opportunities for access to the presenting architects, offering the possibility of future connections or potential collaborations.
Architecture Media and Design Speaks’ trusted brand provides excellent high-quality, professionally organized events. I have already booked to attend the next symposium, having developed high expectations based on my experience of fabulous previous events, with the Design Speaks friendly team offering such personal attention to detail.
I would highly recommend other architects and professionals from allied disciplines to invest in the experiences, based on the stimulating calibre of speakers, the opportunity to immerse in exciting design conversations and to enhance self-development in our wonderful profession.
This was an inspiring and fun event. I met architects from all over Australia, many of whose work I admire greatly.
One of the most valuable parts of attending the symposium was seeing the development of Australian architecture and it’s standing in comparison to the standard of architecture from overseas. For many years I have attended conferences where international architects were the main drawcard. It was wonderful to see that this is not necessarily the case. The buildings presented displayed clear design concepts, quite often born out of climatic constraints. It was great to witness architecture that included a rich choice of materials and an understanding of craft and workmanship.
Thanks for facilitating access to John Wardle's wonderful farm. The buildings were sublime and magic. His address was fascinating and very entertaining.
Seth Remaut Architecture
The symposium and tour were interesting and a generous moment too good to pass up; a necessary journey. On offer was a pithy program, carefully curated, and a deeply rewarding format that invited you into John Wardle’s lovingly revived Captain Kelly’s Cottage and the Shearer's Quarters on Bruny Island.
After the symposium and tour were over, my mind was still thick with the incredible charm of Wardle’s farm. The sensuality of those houses radiated back through the symposium projects of the previous day with an intensity I could taste. Thank you, Design Speaks, for the generosity of spirit in curating such an experience.
Thank you for organizing such an excellent event. The symposium speakers on the Saturday were tremendous. I loved the easy format – especially the fairly loose structure, which allowed each presenter a decent amount of time to talk about their work, in their own way.
Sunday’s trip to Bruny Island was fabulous. Beautiful brunch at the gallery, and a wonderful bus driver who showed us a little of Bruny. Seeing the work John Wardle and his team have done was a very special experience. I am grateful for John’s generosity in sharing their achievements. As a landscape architect, I loved seeing a bunch of architects so excited about landscape.
Attending conferences, talks and seminars opens you up to the intimate world of design and architecture and offers an incredible opportunity to hear first hand from the maker. Each time I attend one of these events I leave with a renewed appreciation of the built world we live in and how we as architects and designers have a responsibility to make the world a better place.
There was an incredible range of projects presented (all from Australia. Hearing the individual architect’s intent and philosophy behind their projects and the overarching optimistic perspectives on the built environment was a valuable experience.
I have attended Design Speaks: Old School / New School three times now and am looking forward to attending again next year. I have always found the events to be valuable as the broad range of topics and projects covered in key notes and case studies sets the scene for a day of thought-provoking discussions around education. This year, one of the key topics, the rapid advances in technology, in particular automation and artificial intelligence, and their impact on the education sector and in turn, the design profession, was of particular interest.
The calibre of speakers at Old School / New School is consistently of a high standard and the line-up of international presenters never fails to impress. It is inspiring to hear from both local and overseas professionals with differing views; the diversity of knowledge and experience is always intriguing.
I would not hesitate to recommend Old School / New School to any of my colleagues and industry peers as I believe it is a valuable form of professional development as well as, an opportunity to make new connections in the industry.
Old School / New School
Inspirational, exciting, thought provoking, social – these events are exceptionally well run and aimed purely at the profession without other distractions.
Design Speaks has never disappointed me over all the years and multiple events I have attended. I plan every year to attend at least one or two Design Speaks events, they are my “re-fuel” points through the year. Other design professionals would benefit from Design Speaks events as they are cross-disciplinary, informative and educational. Life is about continuously learning, so of course architecture is too.
Attending the Work Place / Work Life conference in Sydney, I came to the realization that a lot of people do not love their chosen jobs, so it seems that workplace design needs to entertain and divert attention away from activities that would normally be understood as work, to make people want to keep clocking in each day.
Though many of our buildings include workplaces, as a practice we have done very little specifically workplace design, so it was very interesting hear about current terminology and concepts. Overall the day was very well curated and organized. It was clear and informative and I made some valuable reconnections.
It is important for design professionals to continue professional learning because we must all keep apace of current thinking, technology and legislative and policy frameworks if we are to remain capable of shaping an ever-changing built environment. Each Design Speaks event that I have attended has been of a high quality and I will continue to attend Design Speaks events because I trust that the content will be relevant and well curated.