Q&A(rchitect): A discussion on how emerging architects see the future of our profession

Guest Contributor: Priyanka Rathod

The profession of architecture is as versatile as that of an artist. In fact, an architect is an artist of the built environment. This was quite clear throughout all of the presentations and discussions at Q&A(rchitect) arranged by Darch last month. On the evening of 23 April, Tuesday, 5 young practices in Sydney presented the ideas, projects and hopes for the future of their practices, and none of them were similar to each other.

Penny Fuller of Silvester Fuller was awarded NSW Institute of Architects Emerging Architect Prize last year. The practice has produced a range of simple yet elegant projects. What I found most interesting is their vision for the future to be more proactive, i.e. to find a solution to built environment issues and then find a client to make the project happen. She believes as architects we are designers, but at the same time, we are entrepreneurs too.

Joe Snell of Snell Architects is also a creative director for the Goods Tube, the product he designed himself for gifting his corporate clients. His recent venture includes being a judge for TV show House Rules soon to telecast on Channel 7. He strongly believes that as architects, we shape not only spaces but also business, culture and the future.

Claire McCaughan and Lucy Humphrey established Archrival in 2011, a non-profit organisation that unites the creative community through unsolicited projects. Archrival creates various projects to unite creative professionals with community, technology and business industries which in turn explore the possibilities of collaboration and innovation. Their most recent project is an installation ‘Mirror Mirror’ at Australian Technology Park in Redfern. It is a stage for Vanishing Elephants for their showcase during MB Fashion Week Australia.

Amelia Holliday of Neesan Murcutt Architects presented her research and explored a very interesting idea – a practice of doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing can also be a solution for built environment and as architects we need to recognise the right solution for our neighborhood.

Felicity Stewart and Matthias Hollenstein of Stewart Hollenstein, recent winner for Green Square Library Plaza, have been exploring the idea of developing natural spaces for interactions and performances in the public realm from their university years. Now, they will be able to transform their ideas into practice with the plaza that they have planned for construction in 2017. Our previous blog ‘Green Square Library Plaza won by Stewart Hollenstein and Collin Stewart Architects‘ explores their competition design in detail.

From the past and present projects and ideas of future from all these practices, it was quite clear that today, young architects cannot be satisfied in simply designing buildings. They want to, as always, explore and contribute to various creative fields and we’ll be seeing architects in many different roles exploring, innovating, resolving, engaging, entertaining and contributing to the community.

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