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Melbourne-based, New Zealand-born architect Jonathan Gibb of Studio B Architects won third place at the inaugural The RIBA Journal (RIBAJ) Eye Line drawing competition.  Jonathan's series of eighteen drawings entitled Empty Windows and Undercroft attracted critical praise from an esteemed panel of judges in the UK.
Victoria's World Architecture Day kicked off at a spritely hour of 7 30 am, with a crowd of 90, with breakfast and robustly roasted coffee, teamed with an equally strong discussion chaired Hamish Lyon. The speakers were Sean Godsell and Kerstin Thompson talking on the theme of Culture and Architecture. Kerstin's address gave plea for a higher quality of buildings throughout Melbourne by architects becoming involved in more projects, even if just for partial services, ensuring that quality reached not only the A grade projects, but the B and C grades, too. Sean's definition was to treat a project holistically, with the Architect at the pivotal position of a project that would ensure an excellence of design and deliverability. His bracketing was from design to completion on site, including project managing the process. Not only was his speech on quality driving the culture of Architecture, but also his own plea for a betterment of the treatment of an Architects vision, or intellectual property within an industry where novation of contract and competitions takes away the rights to an Architect's design without the author's continued presence. How does this feed the idea of Culture...? Our friend Wikipedia tells us – "Culture may be defined as: Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture. An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour. The outlook, attitudes, values, goals, and customs shared by a society". What both Kerstin and Sean did agree on was that the quality of Architecture and design needs be shown to all works, all projects, so that the everyday and ordinary are also considered. That unlike overseas countries, Australia does not have a highly intuitive, design oriented society, but one still developing, learning from trial and error. This has given rise to much which may be termed the best and worst of buildings, even along the corridor of Swanston Street. Sean asked for all to look along the variety of Chapel Street, of Richmond’s inner streets. Both left the same message; a challenge to treat every Architectural project individually, with equal parts of design rigor. Both by and large had all nodding in agreement, perhaps at times preaching to the converted, but none the less an important message to be verbalise amongst our own and with those we strive to help and give vision too – our clients. Following the talk Sean provided a gratefully received tour of the Design Hub, giving us the chance to see how the building was been used spatially, accommodating a variety of activities. He helped his clients to write their brief. His explanation of the spaces assisting with melding of ideas - where an aerospace engineer can walk along a studio space and see, comment and interact with the work of fashion designers. A true public building is the one of mutual inclusion, which places a multitude of people helping to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences. Our thanks go to Sean, Kerstin, Hamish and the Member Services Committee and the Victorian Chapter Institute of Architects for organising.   Studio B Architects team
On Friday October the 4th I (Sergey of Studio B Architects) participated in a design and build workshop organised by SONA (Student Organised Network for Architecture) and Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, which brought together students from the School’s of Architecture and practicing Architects and Graduates to collaboratively work together in creating small works of Architecture and furniture in one day, with a limited budget to define a space for a bar at Soldier Sailor in Fitzroy. This workshop was about multidisciplinary collaboration, developing community and building relationships.  For the participating Architects, Graduates and current students it was an opportunity to get out there and mix with the community of passionate professionals and students in order to see how design comes to fruition through collaboration and communication, and how creative ideas can transform the spaces we live in. Helping with the practicalities of construction within this short time was aided by highly skilled builders who took responsibility for operating specialized equipment. All participants formed groups, with each group receiving a specific task or brief in designing the space. The group i was articled with was tasked with making an interactive element that would allow users to change it and participate in activities during the celebration that same evening. Other groups were delegated to create such pieces as seating, bar tables, lighting and entry features. Each group had to use only those materials that were available on site – some of them new and some recycled furniture and supplies. Our teams main secret weapons were: A second-hand billiard table; Recycled bed springs; Chairs and recycled timbers that combined would create our interactive element. Firstly it was a rotating table which allowed it to be adjusted not only horizontally but vertically as well. If someone wanted to use it, one would not be able to do it on their own. The person would need to cooperate with others to hold the table in balance. This was a great way to demonstrate and promote interaction and mutual acceptance between people (who minutes ago knew nothing about each other) and develop friendships right on the spot. Secondly our group made a trampoline out of recycled bed springs covered with carpet – that was a most popular piece during the celebration – I mean, who would not appreciate a bouncy carpet. And finally we built benches covered in seconds of carpet tiles and a variety of chair backs to create seating for the table. This eclectic furniture brought richness to the space and attracted visitors. We see it as a great success of sustainable design, of collegiate and community involvement. In conclusion this workshop illustrates how important it is to develop strong relationships during a project. This applies largely to the industry on the whole. Building relationships between client, architect, builder and specialists where every party supports the other is important. Our team at Studio B Architects takes this practice seriously with every project we are involved in, whether big or small. This results in making high quality spaces and building fabric – which is Architecture of Community.
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