‘When’ Venice calls for Australian cities of the future


Creative Directors 2010 John Gollings & Ivan Rijavec
Photographer: David Pidgeon

A national design competition by Australia’s Creative Directors for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale opens tomorrow, and invites architects to unleash their imaginations in addressing issues of Australian Urbanism.

Australia’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition in Venice next year will highlight three Australian urban regions as they are ‘now’, before dramatically representing futuristic urban settings as they may be ‘when’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Profiling Sydney, Melbourne and Surfers Paradise through stereoscopic visuals, the NOW component will show contrasting views of these cities from macro-scapes at 20,000 feet to ‘helicoptering’ views of urban and architectural icons at close range.

Name: Interior walls
Photographer: Floodslicer

WHEN is daring to imagine Australian urban spaces in 40 years’ and beyond, with the intent of ‘catapulting urban debate into eye-popping visceral entertainment set in a soundscape’.

Liberating architects from current planning and design constraints and encouraging speculative, futuristic visions, the Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ competition is being held to source material for the WHEN part of Australia’s exhibition.

The creative team behind NOW+WHEN, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, see urban transformation in Australia 2050 and beyond being driven as much by political and economic imperatives as they will be by technology and design. Rijavec and Gollings are keen to see designs which reflect these circumstances.

“We’re especially interested in really imaginative designs with a strong theoretical basis which both integrate cultural influences and exploit the creative potential of architecture,” said Mr Rijavec.

The directors will be looking for designs which apply to the city as a whole rather than infill or minor precincts, and address fundamental issues of Australian Urbanism such as density, sustainability and the effects of global warming.

Name: Explanatory Diagram
Photographer: Floodslicer

“Ultimately we want participants to show us what we are likely to become and how our cities will accommodate us as they develop in the matrix of world urbanism and what will be the nature of our inevitable cultural transformation,” Mr Rijavec said.

A shortlist of entrants will be selected to develop their designs further, from which a group of finalists will be announced and whose work will be exhibited at the Australian Pavilion in Venice next year.

Name: Melbourne aerial
Photographer: John Gollings

The Australian Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale is a major project of the Australian Institute of Architects. The Institute thanks its sponsors Austral Bricks, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Zip Industries, Autodesk and Architecture Media. The Institute also recognises the significant contribution of Network Venice practices and donors, and gratefully acknowledges the help and support given by the Australia Council for the Arts, including the use of the Pavilion for this exhibition.

All competition information is available at www.architecture.com.au/nowandwhen

For more information visit www.architecture.com.au