If you love architecture and would like to see and learn more about Sydney’s most oustanding public and private buildings, escorted by knowledgeable guides and often with the architects who designed them, join the Australian Architecture Association (AAA)or become a regular on one of its many tours.

The AAA was formed to broaden the promotion of Australian contemporary architecture to as many people as possible, leading to a greater understanding of the value of good contemporary architecture to society and a growth in the culture of architecture.

My love of architecture and design is well known to my friends and colleagues and as a professional interior designer myself, it has always been my mission to promote an awareness of Australian and international architecture and design to the wider community to demonstrate the meaningful way it can impact on our lives.

I have been a member of the AAA since it’s inception five years ago and have now joined its latest intake of trainee volunteer tour leaders. Over the next six months, I will undertake training which will include mentoring by an experienced tour leader, attending many of the walks as well as the workshops which will give me the knowledge to eventually lead tours.

I am really excited about having this opportunity to share my passion with others and I know that I am about to embark on a wonderful journey of discovery. I hope that one day you will join me on one of my walks!

The AAA is a not for profit organisation, which was formed by a number of Australia’s leading architects. For more information and to join the tours, visit www.architecture.org.au


Three years ago I organised and escorted a tour for architects and design industry professionals to Italy and it was an experience I will never forget. Our tour guides, Isabella and Luigi Dusi, reside permanently in Italy and their knowledge of Italy’s architecture, design, culture, food and wine is vast, making their tours sought-after by visitors from all around the world.

We visited the Milan and Lake Como regions where we experienced work-in-progress, historical sites, factories, showrooms, La Scala Opera House, galleries and museums. On to Florence we stayed in a beautiful Villa and visited the amazing Carrara marble mountains (not for the faint hearted!), historical sites, restorations, galleries, showrooms, textile mills and from there via Eurostar to Venice – I loved Venice! – the Murano glass factories, Fortuny mill and gardens, Opera House and the boat trip out to the Junghens were memorable as was our visit to Vicenza where we experienced Palladio’s architecture in all it’s magnificence guided by professor of history from the University of Milan.

I’ve been asked if I would undertake this tour again and of course, I would! I am now preparing for September/October 2010. If you are an architect, interior designer, builder or developer, specifier, student or other design industry professional and would like to join me, email me at kstjames@universalmagazines.com.au and I’ll be delighted to provide you with more information.

Daring, for once, to look beyond that day …… I dragged myself up the highest mountain and gazed across the first luscious vineyards and silvery olive groves spread across near hills and far away valleys ….. scrambling down a rocky goat track I stumbled upon an isolated shrine ….. a sweet Madonna of benign simplicity smiling into eternal silence. This is Italy, the one I came to find. – Isabella Dusi…