Victorian Chapter Manager
The end of 2014 saw a changing of the guard on the top of the hill, with a new State ALP government elected to replace the incumbent Coalition. Leading in to the November State Election there was growing interest across the community about the value placed by the parties on the role of good design and quality to ensure a liveable and affordable built environment. As a guide to members and the general community, the Chapter approached all parties to gauge their position on a number of issues. Priority topics that we focussed on included party support for:
1. An independent Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA)
2. Ongoing funding for, and strengthening of, the Victorian Design Review Panel run through the OVGA
3. The establishment of an independent Infrastructure body for Victoria
4. Medium and high density housing solutions for inner and greater Melbourne
5. The introduction of minimum apartment design standards for Victoria
6. The mandatory use of an architect for projects over a certain size
In addition to the formal approach from the Institute to the major parties, members were encouraged to approach their local candidates to discuss these issues. The campaign was tagged #buildquality and was an opportunity for all members to directly engage in the election through a social media campaign directed at better built environment outcomes.
We congratulate the new Government and look forward to working closely with them to help realise a number of their key planning and built environment policies. We have been in contact with the office of the new Minister for Planning (Richard Wynne) to continue the conversation, and expect that by the time you are reading this column we will have had our initial meetings with the Minister and his staff.
On the topic of elections, by the time you read this we will also have the results of our 2015 Chapter Council elections, where we will see 5 new (and/or returning) Chapter Councillors join us around the table on the first Tuesday of every month. Keep an eye out for your Monday morning Vmail newsletter to find out who your new representatives are.
The completion of 2014 marked the first full year of activity by the Heritage Committee and it is pleasing to be able to acknowledge that much has been achieved. Some of the highlights include:
· Contributing to the 2014 CPD seminar: Heritage and Sustainability
· Planning for a 2015 CPD seminar: Our Modern Heritage at Risk
· Contributing to Architect Victoria’s Summer: Conserving Modern Industrial Heritage
· Instigating a meeting of state Heritage Committee Chairs to clarify the content of the Institute’s Register of 20th Century Buildings
· Currently the committee is working on a Victorian fact sheet/resource list for the Institute’s website
In April 2014 the committee was able to assist in formulating the Institute’s response to the Federal Government’s draft Heritage Strategy 2014. In general terms the strategy was disappointing in its lack of a holistic approach and in particular, the Governments proposed use of a ‘Green Army’ (effectively 17 – 24 year olds working for the dole) and ‘Crowd funding’ raised concerns about relevant and adequate training and the seriousness of the strategy to achieve broad reaching and high quality outcomes in the area of built heritage.
Throughout the year, the committee has sought to foster closer links through meetings and discussions with like-minded organisations such as Heritage Victoria, DocoMomo and the State Library User Organisation Council (SLUOC).
2014 also saw a change in membership of the Heritage Council of Victoria, the independent statutory body that provides protection and conservation of places and objects of cultural heritage significance within Victoria. Darryl Jackson (Jackson Architecture) and Helen Lardner (HLDC P/L) upon completion of their tenure, were replaced by the former Minister for Planning with Callum Fraser (Elenberg Fraser). It is pleasing that an Institute member was again appointed to the Council and we look forward to working with Callum on important heritage issues affecting the State of Victoria.
Thank you to all the hardworking members of the Committee for their support during the year: Wendy Jacobs (Wendy Jacobs Architect), Peter Johnson (Peter Johnson Architect & Heritage Consultant), Ruth Redden (Heritage Alliance), Suzanne Dance (Suzanne Dance Architects), Stuart Harrison (Harrison & White) and John Henry (John Henry Architects)
For more information:
Heritage Victoria: dtpli.vic.gov.au/heritage
PRACTICE OF ARCHITECTURE COMMITTEE
The Practice of Architecture Committee’s outlined purpose is to identify current issues associated with the practice of architectural practices in Victoria and the processes, information and action required to address these issues.
Many of us recognise the economy of practice has been a challenge in the last several years, and it is difficult to see that changing significantly in the near future. Perhaps then, one of the key roles of the Committee is to raise key issues which affect the practice of architecture and make us relevant to the community and culture in which we operate. Aware of the multiple scale and variations of practice, the Committee has nominated new Acumen notes for both emerging smaller practitioners and larger firms. These include issues such as establishing protocols for working drawings and office manuals, the continued engagement of architects after planning permit, and the role of the architect in the context of evolving and complex building contracts. It is anticipated the Committee will pursue these further in 2015.
We would like to acknowledge and farewell Karen McWilliam, who has resigned due to her current workload commitments. Karen has been a valuable member of the committee over the last years, particularly providing contribution and insight into larger practice issues.
Thank you to all other hardworking members of the Committee for their support during the year: Jane Cameron-Finlay, Tom Jordan, Bryan Miller and Peter Quigley.
Sustainable Architecture Forum
The key achievements and highlights from SAF during 2014 include:
Regular monthly meetings attended by 6-9 members and chaired by Terence Nott
Graduate Prize in Sustainable Architecture
Sponsored by NOW Architecture ($2,000 cash prize)
Winner: Nur Melati
Commendation 1: Amanda Masip
Commendation 2: Camilla Bourke
Jury: Jeanne Lee, Jane Toner, Neville Cowland and Terence Nott.
Architect Victoria 2014 Autumn Issue: Sustainability in Practice
Issue Editor Michael Shaw and contributors Mary Ann Jackson, Neville Cowland and Louise Honman
Raising the Green Bar (A SAF organised and coordinated function):
– Emotional Shelter – The Cat: Coordinated and presented on site by Mary Ann Jackson
– 41X – An Insight: Coordinated and chaired by Louise Honman
– How can Melbourne learn from nature: Coordinated and chaired by Jane Toner. Neville Cowland was a contributing presenter.
Energy Efficiency stakeholder consultation with DSDBI
Jane Toner attended a stakeholder consultation and prepared a submission response on behalf of the Victorian Chapter.
Refuel CPD Seminars (Assisted by SAF members):
– Heritage and Sustainability
– Beat the Heat
National Speaker Series
– Social Sustainability: Chaired by Alex Nock
Thank you to all those who have contributed in some way and we look forward to continuing our efforts in 2015.
With online award entries closing on Friday 20 February, the Awards Committee are preparing for the year ahead. We wish all entrants well and look forward to an exciting new crop of projects being showcased in 2015.
2015 Victorian Architecture Award Dates
|EOIs for Jury position||Closed Fri 30 Jan 2015|
|ONLINE ENTRIES||CLOSE Fri 20 Feb 2015|
|Award Boards||due by Fri 20 Feb 2015|
|Presentation to Juries||Sat 28 March|
|Monash Art Design & Architecture, Caulfield|
|Exhibition of Entries||Tues 26 May – Sun 7 June|
|Atrium – Fed Square|
|Presentation Dinner||Fri 26 June, 7pm|
|Peninsula at Central Pier, Docklands|
I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the departure of Libby Richardson from the role of Awards Coordinator. Libby has done a fantastic job over the last four years and we wish her well in her ongoing role within the institute. I am pleased to announce that Lucy Spychal, known to many from her previous role as Victorian Chapter Administration Coordinator, will take the ongoing position of Awards Coordinator.
MEMBER SERVICES COMMITTEE
Last year the Member Services Committee (MSC) coordinated a variety of activities and events to encourage the engagement of local and regional architects and communicate good design with the broader community.
Perimeter, the regional CPD program visited BKK’s Lonsdale Street Development in Dandenong, Billard Leece Partnership’s Health Science Building at La Trobe University Bendigo, and McBride Charles Ryan’s Dallas Brooks Community Primary School. These tours lead by the architects provided a terrific insight into these projects and also brought CPD events closer to regional members.
BLOCKS for Little Architects held at Deakin Edge, Federation Square has continued to be well attended by young children and parents, enjoying a creative morning replicating award-winning projects and building a city of Lego.
This year’s SONA event was hosted by Elenberg Fraser in their new CBD offices. The ‘speed networking’ evening offered valuable interaction between architecture students and established practitioners.
The Melbourne Architecture Annual (MA|A) was held in late October and included a broad range of events aimed engaging with members and the public to create an open discussion about architecture, city building and sustainable communities. MA|A events included a World Architecture Day celebration, walking tours, CPD events, an exhibition of winners from the 2015 Victorian Architecture Awards and the Gold Medal Talk.
Following this year’s MA|A, the MSC discussed the increasing number of Institute events throughout the year and questioned whether an intensive week of events is the most relevant vehicle moving forward. This is an ongoing discussion but the format that MA|A takes in 2015 may be modified to something more suited to the rest of the annual event program.
Thank you to all other hardworking members of the Committee for their support during the year: Aidan James, Allen Kong, Amy Muir, Darcy Zelenko, Fred Batterton, Junyi Zh, Mark Richards and Stefano Scalzo.
Dr Diego Ramirez-Lovering
2014 was a busy year for the Education Committee, engaging with issues that pertain to Architecture School activities at State level. The Committee also continued to contribute to the national debate and ongoing discussions regarding deregulation of education, accreditation standards and internships.
Victorian State level education matters
The Committee reviewed the student prizes and competitions including the Sustainability and Graduate Prizes, and the Student Ideas competition. There is a great potential to expand the interaction and dialogue between the four architecture schools and practice through its prize and competition activities. Work is underway toward reframing competition and prizes toward more collaborative and interactive frameworks that will include more joint events and a more substantive inclusion of practice and professional networks.
National level education matters
Deregulation of Education:
The Committee informed discussions toward the drafting of a letter to National Council voicing concerns about potential fee increases, indexing of debt and the withdrawal of Commonwealth funding for Master of Architecture degrees that may result from the deregulation of education. In addition, the committee also contributed to discussions leading to a letter to the ANZ APAP steering Committee requesting a review of the impact of deregulation on private and TAFE providers of architecture programs including TAFE’s ability to provide Bachelor level degrees in architecture.
National Competency Standard in Architecture (NCSA) review:
The Education Committee continued its discussion and contribution toward the review of National Competency Standards. While the new Standard has now been ratified by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, the Committee will feed into a revised RAIA Education Framework, the Institute’s component of the Accreditation Procedures document. The Education Committee supports the development of a new procedure which combines the professional and education accreditation requirements in a more dynamic and interconnected manner.
The Committee continued it discussions on student internships and the impact and extent of unpaid activities in this area. An internship survey was circulated to all architecture programs which produced information and better understanding of internships at a national level. The Committee looks forward to the development of guidelines which support structured internships and appropriate remuneration levels.
The Committee looks forward to fostering increased dialogue and providing advocacy for education matters at state and national levels in the New Year.
Thank you to all the hardworking members of the Committee for their support during the year: Ann Lau, Anna Maskiell, Anthony Richardson, Bruce Allen, David Beynon, Des Smith, Donald Bates, Dr Diego Ramirez-Lovering, Dr Mirjana Lozanovska, Dr Vivian Mitsogianni, Graham Crist, Jeanne Lee, Peter Bickle, Rebecca Naughtin.