Three-day course to explore practicalities of connecting and designing with Country

Architects will have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge about First Nations’ connections to Country by participating in a three-day immersive course held by the Australian Institute of Architects from 14 to 16 February, 2024.

The Country, Culture, Community program – to be held in nipaluna (Hobart) will explore the practicalities of connecting and designing with Country, as well as engaging with community throughout the design process.

Institute national education program lead Kate Concannon said the role of architects was evolving and recent advocacy for First Nations perspectives had emphasized an awareness that architecture has had a “blind spot” for Indigenous perspectives. However, she said, there was a collective desire to address the issue.

“Through various forums and continuing professional development programs we are striving to help architects attain the newly introduced competencies that underpin the effective engagement and informed design that celebrate and support Country, communities and cultures,” Concannon said.

Puntukurnu AMS Healthcare Hub by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture.


Robert Frith

The 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) introduced eight new performance criteria to establish specific requirements related to Country, First Nations cultures and communities. The course aligns with the NSCA in that it assists architects to identify successful approaches to intercultural design and artist collaboration, consult and engage in an effective and respectful manner, as well as balance community needs and expectations with regulatory frameworks such as the National Construction Code.

The program seeks to provide practical and actionable insights to guide architects on how to address regulatory compliance, cultural responsiveness, understanding of Indigenous aspirations, project budgeting, and integration of quality, and performance standards considering environmental impact.

Speakers will include Kevin O’Brien (BVN), Sarah Lynn Rees (Jackson Clements Burrows), Michael Mossman (University of Sydney), Jefa Greenaway (Greenaway Architects), Troy Casey (Blaklash), Poppy Taylor and Mat Hinds (Taylor and Hinds), and Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland (Edition Office).

Bendigo Law Courts by Wardle.


Tim Griffith

Concannon strongly encouraged architects and other professionals within the field to attend.

“Together we can commit to the development, at both an individual and practice level, of knowledge, understanding and practical skills to produce architecture that is more informed, respectful and enriching,” she said.

CEO Cameron Bruhn said the Insitute remain dedicated to supporting the call for Voice, Treaty, Truth, using it as a guiding principle for strategies and plans – with this program just one example of that commitment.

“Working together, we can change outcomes for Indigenous Australians through our support of the profession and alignment of our policy, advocacy and education approaches with First Nations values and priorities,” Bruhn said.

The three-day program will attract 10 CPD points in competencies including NSW mandatory topics, First Nations, Sustainability and NCC 2022. The program will feature a welcome reception, a Dark Sky Tasmania experience and a half-day tour of Murrayfield Station on Bruny Island.

Early bird tickets are on sale now. For the full speaker line-up and to find out more visit here.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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