AIA Announces 2015/16 ‘Droga Architects in Residence’

Friday, August 28th, 2015
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Three diverse international architects will participate in the Australian Institute of Architects’ Droga Architect in Residence 2015/16 program.

Following on from the successful visit in 2015 by NORD Architects, the jury, chaired by Brit Andresen, has named the next candidates to undertake the unique 12-week opportunity.

UK emerging architect Nick Wood, Finnish stalwart Juhani Pallasmaa and Californian champion of change Liz Ogbu were selected for their broad experience and engaging program proposals.

Now in its second year, the Residency invites international architects to participate in a three-month program encouraging the exploration of new approaches, the exchange of ideas, international collaboration and cross-fertilisation.

The first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the Residency is the inaugural program of the Australian Institute of Architects Foundation and is named after cultural philanthropist and supporter of the Institute, Daniel Droga, who generously gifted his award-winning Droga Apartment in Surry Hills for use as an architect residency.

Nick Wood, Founder and Director of How About Studio, will commence the Residency in September, focusing on the role of the awning in inner urban environments. How About Studio is a London based design practice working internationally on projects ranging from event based installations, to furniture and permanent buildings.

Wood’s work explores the intersection between art and architecture, with an investment in the fabrication process of combining craft and digital technologies to create new and engaging experiences. He has worked with large cultural institutions and international arts festivals to create a diverse portfolio of high quality interventions. Wood has been a visiting critic at a number of London schools and teaches at Brighton University.

In February 2016 renowned Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa will begin his Residency, which will feature a series of public lectures. Pallasmaa has practised architecture for over fifty years, establishing his own office in 1983. In addition to architectural design, he has been active in urban, exhibition, product and graphic design.

Pallasmaa has taught and lectured widely in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia, and published numerous books and essays on the philosophy and critique of architecture and the arts in over thirty languages. He was a speaker at the 2011 National Architecture Conference – Natural Artifice in Melbourne.

Liz Ogbu is a designer, urbanist, social innovator and founder of Studio O. Her Residency will take place in Spring 2016. She is a Harvard graduate whose expertise is in disruptive innovation in challenged urban environments. She has worked extensively with communities in need to leverage the power of design to deliver social impact, from designing shelters for immigrant day labourers in the US to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans.

In addition to her work through Studio O, Ogbu is on faculty at UC Berkeley and Stanford; has won numerous honours including Public Interest Design’s Top 100, 2014 Aspen Ideas Scholar and Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council; and has lectured and published widely on her research including presentations for the Architecture Foundation UK, Clinton Global Initiative, AIA Grassroots and TEDx.

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