Page 1


mewhere The idea is in here so


Die Idee versteckt sich hier irgendwo


Where else can we shop?

2 all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion on a sesame seed bun.

Out of my way!

Milk, bread, cookies

Mars

American Idol

Mardi gras U2 tickets

Itchy neck

TRUE URBANISM


GLOBAL DIRECTORS 2006


STEPHAN C REINKE, EUROPE INTERNATIONAL CITIZEN. BORN IN CHICAGO. BIG, DRIVEN, LARGER THAN LIFE, LOUD. CIGAR SMOKING. RESPECTFUL PREACHER ATTENDS EVERY OPENING.

ANDREW FORD, AUSTRALIA GRANDADDY OF ALL RAINMAKERS, POKER PLAYER, DEALS, DEALS, DEALS, PETROL HEAD, RACES FAST CARS IN A SLOW CITY, CARING FATHER, FARMER, WINEMAKER.

ANDREW FORD, AUSTRALIA GRANDADDY OF ALL RAINMAKERS, POKER PLAYER, DEALS, DEALS, DEALS, PETROL HEAD, RACES FAST CARS IN A SLOW CITY, CARING FATHER, FARMER, WINEMAKER.

MARK MITCHESON-LOW, MIDDLE EAST MOTIVATED EXPATRIATE, CROSS CULTURAL SENSITIVITY. TEAM PLAYER. VISUAL APPETITE, CAMEL RIDER. SMALL BODY – FAST ATTITUDE, HATS OFF TO YOU. 48º DEGREES, 90% HUMIDITY.

ROSS DONALDSON, AUSTRALIA ONCE LOST IN ACADEMIA NOW GLOWING IN PRACTICE, WALKING BRAIN, FOREST DWELLER LIKE BUDDHA WAITING FOR ENLIGHTENMENT, LIFETIME SOLE PARTNER, PRADA SHOES, BREAKFASTS WITH THE SHEIKS.

STEPHAN C REINKE, EUROPE INTERNATIONAL CITIZEN. BORN IN CHICAGO. BIG, DRIVEN, LARGER THAN LIFE, LOUD. CIGAR SMOKING. RESPECTFUL PREACHER ATTENDS EVERY OPENING.

NIK KARALIS, AUSTRALIA MID LIFE CRISIS, WORK FIRST, COMPUTER ILLITERATE, ENERGETIC, DRAWFAST, LORD, EXTRAVAGANT, CAN’T SIT STILL, EATS A LOT, NEEDS TO EXERCISE.

EARLE ARNEY, AUSTRALIA HARVARD GRADUATE, VOCAL TENOR, WHEN TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH, IMMACULATE DRESSER, MEDITATION EXPLORATION, RETAIL THERAPIST, GAVE UP COFFEE – WATCH OUT, ABC DOCUMENTARIES.

VINCE PIRRELLO, AUSTRALIA EVERYONE’S FRIEND, MOTHER’S SON, LOUNGE LIZARD, BIG KIND HEART, SERIOUS TRAVEL AND HOTEL ROOM ADDICTION, BILLECART CHAMPAGNE, BORN TO PARTY, ALWAYS HAS PLANS.

EARLE ARNEY, AUSTRALIA HARVARD GRADUATE, VOCAL TENOR, WHEN TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH, IMMACULATE DRESSER, MEDITATION EXPLORATION, RETAIL THERAPIST, GAVE UP COFFEE – WATCH OUT, ABC DOCUMENTARIES.

IVAN ROSS, AUSTRALIA EX MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT WHO GETS THE DESIGN WORLD, IRON FIST IN A VELVET GLOVE, BUILDING A NEW HOUSE, KIDS ARE TWINS, ALWAYS RELAXED, KIND EYES.

LEONE LORRIMER, MIDDLE EAST A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD, ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY, TRAVEL BUG GONE WRONG, SENSITIVE AND A SUPPORTER OF OTHERS, FAMILY BACKGROUND OF ACHIEVERS, FASCINATED BY DETAIL, OOZES CONFIDENCE.

EARLE ARNEY, AUSTRALIA HARVARD GRADUATE, VOCAL TENOR, WHEN TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH, IMMACULATE DRESSER, MEDITATION EXPLORATION, RETAIL THERAPIST, GAVE UP COFFEE – WATCH OUT, ABC DOCUMENTARIES.

LEONE LORRIMER, MIDDLE EAST A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD, ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY, TRAVEL BUG GONE WRONG, SENSITIVE AND A SUPPORTER OF OTHERS, FAMILY BACKGROUND OF ACHIEVERS, FASCINATED BY DETAIL, OOZES CONFIDENCE.

LEONE LORRIMER, MIDDLE EAST A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD, ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY, TRAVEL BUG GONE WRONG, SENSITIVE AND A SUPPORTER OF OTHERS, FAMILY BACKGROUND OF ACHIEVERS, FASCINATED BY DETAIL, OOZES CONFIDENCE.

MARK KELLY, AUSTRALIA BICYCLE RIDER, BACK PACKER, SOCCER STAR WITH FRACTURED FOOT, SPECIALIST SPECIALISING IN SPECIALTIES, MATE’S MATE, PROPERTY MAGNATE, NEVER SELL.

MARK KELLY, AUSTRALIA BICYCLE RIDER, BACK PACKER, SOCCER STAR WITH FRACTURED FOOT, SPECIALIST SPECIALISING IN SPECIALTIES, MATE’S MATE, PROPERTY MAGNATE, NEVER SELL.

VINCE PIRRELLO, AUSTRALIA EVERYONE’S FRIEND, MOTHER’S SON, LOUNGE LIZARD, BIG KIND HEART, SERIOUS TRAVEL AND HOTEL ROOM ADDICTION, BILLECART CHAMPAGNE, BORN TO PARTY, ALWAYS HAS PLANS.

DAVID TREGONING, ASIA STATESMAN, IMPARTIAL LEADER, WEARS BESPOKE SHIRTS AND CUFFLINKS, FINALLY OVER RED PORSCHE MID LIFE CRISIS, HANDSOME PHYSIQUE, HOW DOES HE DO IT, SWIMS EVERY MORNING.

NIK KARALIS, AUSTRALIA MID LIFE CRISIS, WORK FIRST, COMPUTER ILLITERATE, ENERGETIC, DRAWFAST, LORD, EXTRAVAGANT, CAN’T SIT STILL, EATS A LOT, NEEDS TO EXERCISE.

RODGER DALLING, AUSTRALIA AUSSIE DIGGER, BODY GUARD, FATHER FIGURE, VOICE OF REASON, BULLDOG FOOTBALL CLUB FANATIC, ITALOPHILE, CLASSY SUITS AND TIE IN A 4 WHEEL DRIVE.

ROSS DONALDSON, AUSTRALIA ONCE LOST IN ACADEMIA NOW GLOWING IN PRACTICE, WALKING BRAIN, FOREST DWELLER LIKE BUDDHA WAITING FOR ENLIGHTENMENT, LIFETIME SOLE PARTNER, PRADA SHOES, BREAKFASTS WITH THE SHEIKS.

RODGER DALLING, AUSTRALIA AUSSIE DIGGER, BODY GUARD, FATHER FIGURE, VOICE OF REASON, BULLDOG FOOTBALL CLUB FANATIC, ITALOPHILE, CLASSY SUITS AND TIE IN A 4 WHEEL DRIVE.

JAMES CALDER, AUSTRALIA NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, INSPIRED BY AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING, CITROEN DS 21, 308 GTB BENTLY TURBO R, 1950 MATCHLESS 500, MODEL CARS, FAMILY MAN, PLAID SUITS, CUTS TO THE CHASE.


I work for a company that has 137 years of history embedded in it, making it what it is today. This has been a ball and chain we have carried around until now. The purpose of Spatial Tactics is to re-set the path of Woods Bagot to become a more accessible, fluid organisation, tuned into the world’s moans and groans. This is not intended to be a monograph or thesis or a marketing document, but a demonstration of the cultural and attitudinal change of our studios. Spatial Tactics provokes and probes, dissects and re-assembles, describes a path to take for operating in our diverse world. It is more the launch of a new way of working and a picture of things to come. Business survival has forced Woods Bagot to move offshore from the safe haven of innocent Australia in search of projects. Most architectural offices venture out and quickly return to the security of home, never daring to move too far from the comfort zone. Others make temporary architectural offices for single projects which are quickly dismantled.

Our commitment to Public is that we will keep a permanent presence and continue to participate actively with the cultures and regions we operate in. Large company structures rarely have the ability to re-invent themselves. Change emanates from smaller rebellious subcultures who continually re-assess our priorities as a community. Our purpose is to dismantle the anonymous syndrome of the Corporation hiding behind clichĂŠd contemporary behaviours and reveal through the personalities of our people an attitude and response towards a new urban outlook. We have deliberately committed corporate suicide. From our euthanasia appears our Revelation.


Arising from the mountains of disregarded ideas is Public, the entity through which criticism and opinion moves between communities desires and architectural aspirations. For us Public is the nexus between the world and architecture, out of which will derive strong firm opinions for new architectural and urban possibilities. Each new project now has behind it credibility, relevance and pertinence, interrogated through Masterplanning analysis of Public. Public will be multi-layered. The core of its knowledge will be revealed in a series of research papers from each of our directors and other contributors. They range from academically researched theses, through to brilliant poetic ideas and thought provoking images.

The exposure of the world through communication is shrinking every day. Eventually it will compress itself in a tangled knot where cross-cultural tolerance and intolerance are broadcasted live and instantaneously. Multiple concurrent time frames are our everyday reality. We at Woods Bagot speak in many languages but communicate with a common alphabet called drawings. Drawings and ideas are our new international language. Where Public is universal and conceptual, Woods Bagot has its feet on the ground, dealing with the everyday events in our four main regions, Asia, Europe Middle East and Australia, operating as one practice. This redirection of our energies into Public will allow the faces of our directors to be seen, and their voices to be heard, anywhere in the world. Public will attract a client base who can interact with our staff and access the knowledge and research captured and decoded, ready to be applied to architectural projects anywhere across the globe. Nik Karalis, Design Director Woods Bagot


CONTENTS

SPATIAL TACTICS. A STUDY IN GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE.

1. WHAT IS PUBLIC? OUT OF THE WOODS INTO THE BLUE DAVID TREGONING

20 28

2. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS: FEET ON THE GROUND 38 SHANGHAI SURPRISE 48 STEPHEN JONES GOD SAVE THE QUEEN AND BRITISH ARCHITECTURE 56 STEPHAN C REINKE SUCK IT AND SEA 68 MARK MITCHESON-LOW AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE AS A GLOBAL PROPOSITION 80 RODGER DALLING NO LONGER ‘GIRT BY SEA’ 88 IVAN ROSS

3. DEATH OF THE CORPORATION 104 COUNTERINTUITIVE COLLABORATIONS 114 NIK KARALIS INTERROGATION 124 EARLE ARNEY BLITZING MEDIOCRITY 132 LEONE LORRIMER DESK BOUND 140 ANGELA SAMPSON THE WORLD’S FASTEST 148 ANDREW FORD SAFE HAVEN 156 VINCE PIRRELLO LIFE IMITATES ART 166 ROSS DONALDSON THE INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE 176 JAMES CALDER OUT IN PUBLIC 184 NIK KARALIS 4. R

4. PROOF APPLIED RESEARCH NIK KARALIS

194 196

5. DESTINY OF THE GLOBE 228 TALKING GREEN ACTING GREY 240 JULA SPILKER DO THE RIGHT THING 248 MARK KELLY

6. CHANGING LIFE CYCLES XYZ... THE SECTOR DISCUSSION NIK KARALIS

262 264

7. THREE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE 276 ARCHITECTURAL MODELS, LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY 284 SANDRA KAJI-O’GRADY GLOBAL BRAND LEADERSHIP 292 STEVEN CORNWELL


Public is Woods Bagot’s research brand created to enable staff, clients, and collaborators to input into the future direction of global architecture.

This title should be here.


multi-layered

images

ideas collective architecture

thesis

knowledge

thought-provoking opinions shocking

possibilities poetic

individuals content based regional interdependency

independent


WHAT IS PUBLIC?

20 21

WH PU

Public is the global research brand of Woods Bagot. Nik Karalis


PUBLIC. THE GLOBAL RESEARCH BRAND OF WOODS BAGOT. PUBLIC HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO BRING A FORMAL FOCUS TO OUR APPLIED AND THEORETICAL RESEARCH. RESEARCH THAT UNDERPINS OUR APPROACH AND SETS BENCHMARKS FOR THE THREE MARKET SECTORS WE SPECIALISE IN – LIFESTYLE, EDUCATION AND WORKPLACE. IT IS THE ROLE OF PUBLIC TO CAPTURE NEW THINKING AND ACT AS A PLATFORM FOR CLIENTS, STAFF AND COLLABORATORS TO FEED IDEAS AND CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL THEORY.

CREATED BY OUR STAFF AND DISSEMINATED THROUGH PUBLISHED RESEARCH PAPERS, SEMINARS AND PROJECTS, PUBLIC IS THE CONTINUOUS DIALOGUE ON THE ISSUES THAT AFFECT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, OUR CLIENTS, OUR COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.


Public is the nexus between the world and Woods Bagot. -45°

LONDON

NIGHT MIND GAMES

BEIJING

OIL CRISIS

DUBAI DOHA BAHRAIN

HONG KONG

MONEY GLOBAL WARMING STONES BIGGEST HIT LONDONTHUNDER AND LIGHTNING OSCARS THREE OVERDOSES TRANS-SIBERIAN TRAIN GUCCI VLADIVOS ASYLUM EARTH QUAKE WORLD’S TALLE BUILDING, TAI 60 ARRESTS AFGHAN PRISON IMAX THEATRE BIRD FLU SUNSHINE GLOBAL WARMING GLOBAL GLOBAL WARMING MONEY MISS SRI LANKA

BANGKOK

PM’S DECADE

MALAYSIA CIVIL WAR

CODE BREAKERS

BRISBANE PERTH

CANBERRA SYDNEY MELBOURNE ADELAIDE

SHARK ATTACK


To ensure its long-term success, Public’s innate vitality has been distilled into 5 distinct channels; Public Data, Public Foundation, Public Scholarship, Public Domain and Public Seminars. These channels enable the capture and dissemination of information across our global network.

Public Foundation Public has a moral obligation to provide services for altruistic reasons that lie beyond revenue and profit. There are numerous worthy causes that demand attention and support from architects in order to realise their community responsibilities and produce buildings with a cultural purpose. The values of an organisation need to be expressed by its generosity and not by its shareholder returns. Philanthropy determines the character and substance of any organisation. Public will therefore redirect funds that are usually associated with financial write-offs and invest them into more rewarding entrepreneurial exercises. Among obligations we have recently undertaken is the completion of an eco-resort in Corsica in a sensitive World Heritage location. We are involved with the Jamie Oliver Foundation for under-privileged children. In the earthquake-torn Himalayas, planning has begun for new roads and housing in Islamabad.

Public Scholarship Woods Bagot invests in relationships with many academic institutions in its four regions. We award young graduates prizes for excellence which sponsors their continuing education. This will now evolve into inviting a direct academic contribution to Public so their voices and opinions are heard outside the university. Public will sponsor and call for research papers from various graduates and undergraduates on topical subjects that affect the destiny of the globe. These students will then be invited to participate in workshops to apply their specific research topics to real projects. This collaboration between academia and our practice will lead to new outcomes and promote a diversity of thinking that is focused on problem solving for various applications. Public scholarship will also support students working for their Masters and PhD theses. Education specialist, Dr Kenn Fisher, (whose paper “The New Learning Environment: Hybrid Designs for Hybrid Learning” appears in Public#2: Education Futures) is a recent recipient of this category and continues to collaborate with Woods Bagot.

Public Data A compilation of the technical data gained from all our global projects, organised through our sectors and available for anyone in our organisation to implement, interrogate and contribute to for the benefit of our clients projects.

Public Seminars Refer to our website for seminar details. www.woodsbagot.com

Public Domain Public will foster contributions and critique by those who use our architectural spaces and read our articles. These silent voices of reason and testimonials are rarely heard, yet they are the real witnesses of our actions and the real life force behind change. Public domain will become an international tribunal, monitoring the shortcomings that architects can inflict on the world. If our ideas are to be relevant, we need feedback and participation by a wider group of user. Those who live in the cities where we build are the real judges of failed master planning. Despite all the reform to the workplace, most people working in offices are dissatisfied with their working environment and to the compartmentalization of space that characterises them still. Architects can be poor listeners. Public domain will now have the evidence to convict the guilty, and celebrate with the triumphant. Public will listen to these commentaries, complaints and criticism and make time to digest the feast of information. You may enter your views at: domain@woodsbagot.com


28 29

OUT OF THE WOODS, INTO THE BLUE. DAVID TREGONING

1869

Mr. Edward Woods

Mr. Walter Bagot


Adelaide Steamship Company

AMP

1936

1950 The development and growth of Woods Bagot to become one of the leading architecture and design practices in the world, is a story of professionalism and planning. In a profession where most practices last under one generation, it is an extraordinary achievement to not only be Australia’s oldest practice (we are now in our 137th year) but also be the one that can call itself truly international, having the most extensive global footprint. This growth and positioning didn’t happen by chance – it has come about as a result of a series of carefully structured business plans, each building on the success of the past.

Growth in Australia In the early 1990s Woods Bagot’s vision was to be a national architectural practice with a presence in Asia. The expansion to the East was initially driven by the Adelaide partners, because the business could not grow further in the small Adelaide market. Leone Lorrimer and I started the Sydney office in 1988 and Melbourne had also opened through Rob Howden and Tim Beaumont. We had two good years of growth through 1988–1990, as property boomed following the collapse of the stockmarket. Then came “the recession we had to have” in 1990, and the whole world property market fell over. When the crash came we were in dire straits – we had far too many directors, we were top heavy and clumsy, the CEO chairman resigned and I was appointed the new managing partner. We had a board that realised what an asset we had, but also realised what a predicament we were in. Then two really crucial things happened. The first was when the communications world exploded and we were fortunate enough to become Optus’ partner through Leightons, putting in their entire national infrastructure of data networks and offices. This enabled us to set up an Australia wide network, as we serviced them all around the country. 1990

Siemens Headquarters Melbourne

Sydney International Regatta Centre

As a result, over the next few years our design profile increased quite remarkably and it has been our objective to keep it steadily improving ever since. Ours is still a very commercial product for our clients, but through the mid to late-1990s, our design and brand have become essential tools for our clients to position and market their product. They are even more important now. 1998 At the same time, the banks, which were under pressure and over-sized, went through major rationalisations. We worked with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and to a lesser degree Westpac, to rationalise all their corporate facilities. Again these were national projects which got the interior design wing of the business going strongly. And so, while everybody else was suffering in the commercial and residential markets, we were actually growing in two market areas, as well as in our strategic facilities planning discipline. This was a huge strength to us because it meant we could invest in people and IT.

Optus Technology Centre Sydney

Design focus Meanwhile the commercial sector was growing quite strongly in Australia through the 1990s. We realised that while our work was very sound commercially, from a design perspective it was a bit pedestrian, and we really didn’t want to play at that level. To remedy this, we engaged people like Nik Karalis and Mark Kelly and other key designers, and worked toward making the business into a high profile, designled organisation, rather than being simply a ‘production house’. We tried a number of different approaches, but we realised that the real solution was to get the right team of people across the group. This meant hiring the right designers and creating the right environment and culture – and that’s exactly what we did.

Growing in Asia The next five-year plan was to become an international practice specialising in design and consulting. We consolidated our Asian presence and developed a strong network through the region. Our mantra was that we serviced our clients across borders, we took the difficulties of dealing with language, geography and culture out of it, and this worked very successfully with multinational groups.

Apple Australia Call Centre Sydney

Monash IT Building Melbourne

2000


Adelaide Convention Centre

Domayne New Concept Store Sydney

Global relevance In 1998 we set up a five-year plan to become a truly international firm across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. We had already started working successfully in the Middle East – partnering with Multiplex and others – but we had a strong desire to be relevant in the London marketplace. London was seen to be the design capital of the world and there was so much influence from international architects working in Sydney that we decided in order to be globally relevant we had to be part of the international scene. It took two or three years to find the right merger opportunity, which we did in mid-2000, and for a period it was a matter of restructuring and reprofiling the studio to be relevant and to compete at the high design levels the London marketplace demands. Again, our success relied on attracting and retaining key people and having the right structures in place.

363 George Street Sydney

From our clients’ perspective global building development now is being driven by the amount of money that’s available for investment through managed funds. In Australia, the US, the UK and Europe more money is available for investment in major projects than there are opportunities to do so. This is also having an impact on the Asian market at present. Previously it was never a market for pension funds because the market was too volatile, returns were too risky, and most leases were too short to suit the investment profiles of REITS.

Sydney Olympic Water Recycling and Filtration Plant

2000

2004 Into the future Each one of those five year plans worked pretty well and now our focus is not on growing geographically – we have actually reduced the number of our offices over the last few years – but instead, to develop a high-quality architecture, design and consulting business, (underpinned by research and our ‘people first’ policy) operating through our existing studio network. We intend to specialise in the key sectors of workplace, education and lifestyle, and to apply our design skills to major projects. We’re not going to try and do too much; we have only a certain number of people and a limited number of specialists and we need to keep those people focused on the right projects for the right clients.

Adelaide Convention Centre

Elysium Houses Noosa

2006 What does this market trend mean for architects? It means that designing and branding our projects is paramount; it means that projects are getting larger and more complex; it means that innovative finance and delivery arrangements will dictate our terms of engagement; it means that specialisation is essential – and for Woods Bagot, it means that we are excitingly positioned to realise our current vision, that by 2010, Woods Bagot will achieve Global Leadership through Research, Consulting, Architecture and Design.

At the moment, most of the markets we operate in are either mature and steady, or high-growth markets, but what is consistent across all markets is that they are becoming increasingly competitive. As a result our clients are realising that it is design that differentiates our product from others.

Australia Bureau of Statistics Canberra

Qatar Science and Technology Park Doha Space Sydney


Multi-layered

Architecture

ideas

Global leadership through architecture, design and consulting, underpinned by research. (Brisbane, Board Meeting 2005)

Content

Being a nomad has huge advantages when developing ideas and gaining world experiences to share with clients.


We share ideas, develop and inspire each other and together drive the direction and approach to our architecture.


HEAD IN THE CLOUDS: FEET ON THE GROUND

38 39

“

HE IN CL FE ON GR

Flying in, sucking cultures dry and denying local talent of opportunities to develop and compete in the global economy. This is not what we do. Nik Karalis


Working in regions around the world has nothing to do with travel, and yet it is all to do with travelling. Being a nomad has huge advantages when developing ideas and gaining world experiences to share with clients. However, it is the true understanding that comes from being local that delivers architecture that is relevant and sustainable. Using the right symbolism, not the westernised interpretation, makes regional sense. Getting your hands dirty, rolling up your sleeves, eating the local fare and wining and dining the client for two weeks at a time doesn’t constitute a global practice. This amounts to global capitalism at best. You know the type of person who does this: flying in, sucking cultures dry and denying local talent of opportunities to develop and compete in the global economy. This is not what we do.

We have offices in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Australia and employ people of all race and gender. We have been able to expand worldwide because our directors have never considered the ocean’s borders, different belief systems or the colour of one’s skin as a physical or intellectual boundary. We see our global business as one studio. Our leaders are passionate individuals who are very different from each other but respect each other’s talent and expertise. We share ideas, develop and inspire each other and together drive the direction and approach to our architecture.

Ironically, after 137 years in practice we are only on the cusp of creating our first major public buildings in the modern era. We may just hold the record for the longest overnight success. Our world expansion has attracted great talent and in turn generated some significant project opportunities in all of our regions. This means Woods Bagot is operating 24 hrs a day around the world. We spend a lot of time in the air, but it is what our people do on the ground that matters most.


We have been able to expand worldwide because our directors have never considered the ocean’s borders, different belief systems or the colour of one’s skin as a physical or intellectual boundary.


Bye Bye Miss American Pie


4 different cuisines, similar diet.

Developing a globa l language...


48 49

SHANGHAI SURPRISE Stephen Jones

Walking a fine line: a taste of the cultural, economic and creative challenges for architects working in China.


“The true value of consultants working as architects and designers in a foreign country is their ability to synthesise their alien architectural, social and cultural experiences with local knowledge about what drives the local culture and the way buildings are procured, built, financed and marketed in that region.� Stephen Jones


Communication One of the biggest challenges in Asia is communication. Communication is not only a matter of language – physically getting the word across – it’s understanding cultural perceptions, market triggers and attitudes to issues of lifestyle and environment. Communication is fundamental – if you can’t communicate and you don’t have the energy, confidence, honesty or persistence to get to the bottom of an issue you can never respond to it creatively for the client. As a foreigner in a Chinese culture you quickly realise that China is a huge mixing pot of different cultures. There are said to be 30 markets in China spread across the 23 provinces and regions. The complexity of economics and social relations can be daunting. This context is tremendously dynamic due to the changing economic structure of China and the impacts on designing relevant and successful environments are challenging. There are geographical and political sensitivities associated with these changes – some of them appear new, some are really continuing blips on the Chinese cultural scope. We are from countries that think Taiwan and Tibet are not part of China, but in Chinese history they have been part of it for thousands of years. With a local planning official or a government position, you really can’t talk openly about Tibet or Taiwan because of the political sensitivities around the topic. There are broad and subtle cultural differences in contemporary Chinese society. For example, young professionals in Shanghai are quite different from young professionals in Beijing in the size and cost per square metre of their apartments; their politics; their access to transport; their attitude to entertainment and their spending power – all this feeds into a different mix when a developer comes to us and wants to do a residential development. These are some of the reasons why it is so important that people in an international organisation spend time living in the regions where their projects are located. If you don’t live and breathe with the people you’re creating environments for then you’ll never really be able to respond to their needs and desires at the appropriate level.

The pace of change A major issue in China is the speed of development and the growth of inequity between the urban wealthy and the regional poor. China’s future may be largely governed by the management of this development and inequality. The way families live, relate and inhabit the country and cities is changing so quickly that a child’s school, a family’s restaurant or home – all the markers of a stable environment – can be there today and demolished one month later. For many in the cities this creates an aggressively dynamic context for life. These changes are impacting on environments in cities and the countryside, making countless drives to modify these environments in some way. This provides architects and designers large, sometimes overwhelmingly large, roles to be involved in the development of incredible projects such as infrastructure, new cities and grand public spaces. For an architect, often it appears to be our job to offer a discipline to the client’s ambitions, rather than the other way around as it would be in other parts of the world. Being part of these projects with their scale, speed and confidence is an addiction that is hard to resist.

Since China has opened up to foreign investment after joining the WTO it attracts foreign funds and customers and disburses them with greater ease. It has also washed over the development industry. The property development market over the last 18 months has tightened up and many of the fast buck developers have fallen away. The nepotism in the administration has decreased and well-connected individuals are no longer the only ones able to get control of development land. The bad debts in the Chinese banking system, which were fuelled largely through corruption and speculation in property, have been reduced. Developers who were part of that regime have been wiped out and the players left are largely the ones who are set up properly, who carry out due diligence and work in a more transparent way. This creates a more secure practice environment in which to put our energies. There are so many exciting projects around that sometimes I have the sense of being a kid in a candy shop. But peeling away the wrappers to get to the sweets takes enormous effort and focus. To develop and maintain a sustainable business you need patience. As an organisation you have to be very disciplined – you have to choose and respond to selected markets and locations. You have to be able to say no, because you just can’t be all things to all people. New friends in business Hong Kong, which has of course changed a lot in the last ten years, is the shift from an expatriate culture, with young professionals focused on short-term assignments, to being a place where people are choosing a way of life because of its unique position, its unique history and its mix of cultures. People from all over the world come to Hong Kong. It is a confluence of cultures, as opposed to being a specific region in itself. We are Hong Kongers’, Chinese from all over the nation – Madagascan, Spanish,

English, French, Philipino, Malaysian and Australian. That is interesting in itself – that is a daily stimulation. It also provides a unique foundation to our design project – this breadth of life experience provides a rich studio community which is great. It’s a knowledge base for the region. From a consulting point of view it is at the centre of Asia and that means we are well placed in that environment to understand the culture and the drivers that make our clients’ projects work. Maintaining a sense of the ‘other’ The true value of consultants working as architects and designers in a foreign country is their ability to synthesise their alien architectural, social and cultural experiences with local knowledge about what drives the local culture and the way buildings are procured, built, financed and marketed in that region. This is what we’re offering, what we’re doing day by day. When this is harnessed and supported by a client through a design process this is what leads to innovation in their project – and it’s why they hire us. In China this differentiates us also. If we were to fill our studio with Chinese trained and educated staff we would only be producing what clients are getting from other consultants in China. There is an inherent creative tension that develops in this way as the group seeks to trace a line between the local and global practices. That filters right through our studios day by day and it’s not always calm! Living and working in a foreign culture – that’s really the pointy end of the issue. There is a value in remaining an alien, to keep the eyes of a tourist because it affords us a broader perspective – but this has to be balanced by an understanding of the culture. The really fascinating and engaging aspect of working in China is that you have to work in cooperation: practically, we can’t work without local design partners. This forces our designers to work arm next to arm, pencil next to pencil with people who have had an altogether different life experience and education. It is a constant process of learning from each other which enables us to create environments that will be relevant and unique.


One and the same.

East meets West.


56 57

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN AND BRITISH ARCHITECTURE STEPHAN C REINKE RIBA FAIA


“The process of planning, designing and gaining approval for a building project in the UK (and in fact in most of western Europe) is lengthy and tortuous and has an unpredictable impact on design.” Stephan C Reinke

GOD SAVE TH E QUE EN AND BRITISH ARCHITECTURE


To practise architecture in London today means being immersed in a confluence of international creativity, baked in an oven of scrutiny, and driven by the worlds leading critics, editors and all walks of design life.


To practise architecture in London today means being immersed in a confluence of international creativity, baked in an oven of scrutiny, and driven by the worlds leading critics, editors and all walks of design life. This is all being played out through a thoroughly English system of statutory bodies and special interest groups.

In addition, social initiatives provide another oil slick on the road to gaining planning consent in the UK. This guideline demands that up to 50 per cent of habitable rooms are designed as affordable housing. Take that and stick it in your pipe and smoke it if you are a commercial developer, even if you are a patron of quality urban design.

The process of planning, designing and gaining approval for a building project in the UK (and in fact in most of western Europe) is lengthy and tortuous and has an unpredictable impact on design.

If these constraints were not enough to deter the construction industry, add to the obstacle course the Greater London Authority criteria that in every major project 10 per cent of the energy used should be renewable: wind, sun or biomass. Furthermore architects must provide a very high level of disabled access. The end result may be a better building for our urban environment, however, there are many voices which cry out that these policies, complex, cumbersome multi-faceted as they are, are actually preventing quality residential and mixed use developments going forward.

While in the strictest regulatory terms CABE (the Council for Architecture and the Built Environment), the government’s design watchdog, has no teeth, in reality the CABE process adds yet another layer of complexity and demands to an already tortuous and in many ways irrational planning process in the UK. Comments from CABE can

influence the success or failure of major projects, and have a significant impact on local authority planners.

All the while there is a dramatic need for residential development to meet demand in the UK, which could be met by building tall, were it not for the planning restraints. While their influence is well below the radar, the monarchy, together with English Heritage, the champions of historical buildings, fight to ‘protect’ them and in some cases result only in freezing time.

A final ingredient to the recipe is the presence of many of the ubiquitous ‘black cape’ architects, which describes a group of around two dozen architects world-wide, many of them European, who have achieved star status and go to the formulaic well repeatedly. This kaleidoscope of stakeholders defines the future of architecture in the United Kingdom today. However, there is hope in sight. What may save British architecture, if not the Queen, is London’s incredible magnetism. London attracts the entire world of design. The talent and diversity of international designers crashing along, side by side, with the best of the British may well take things to a new level, magically assimilating the myriad demands of stakeholders and providing architecture and urban spaces to mark and respond to the needs of the 21st century.


While their influence is well below the radar, the monarchy, together with English Heritage, the champions of historical buildings, fight to ‘protect’ them and in some cases result only in freezing time.

While their influence is well below the radar, the monarchy, together with English Heritage, the champions of historical buildings, fight to ‘protect’ them and in some cases result only in freezing time.


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SUCK IT AND SEA MARK MITCHESON-LOW


SATURDAY BREAKFAST, ABC RADIO There’s a new development currently under construction off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It’s called The World it’s shaped like the world and I don’t know whether it’s going to have a New Orleans but it will certainly have an Australasia – Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – all the work of the Australian architectural firm, Woods Bagot. Now, call me a nerd if you will, but when I heard about this I immediately thought about the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and of Slartibartfast, the planetary architect who designed the earth, who said he had endless fun doing the “little bits” in Norwegian fiords. But I digress. These days there really are people working with reclaimed land to create small islands in the shape of the world. And joining me (Alan Saunders) on the phone from London is one of them, Mark Mitcheson-Low, an architect with Woods Bagot. A: Mark, welcome to Saturday Breakfast. M: Thank you very much. A: Well first of all can you describe the project. What is The World and in particular Australasia? What are they going to look like? M: Well they are actually being created off the coast of Dubai - about 5 kms off Dubai – and the whole of ‘the world’ is actually made up of 300 islands. Woods Bagot being an international architect and one of the largest out of Australia was invited to submit in competition to bid to be able to create the islands for Australia and New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Now obviously it was a very unique opportunity and we grasped this with twelve hands and it has been a very interesting project. A: So what’s it going to look like? I have grim imaginings of a sort of “Australia the Theme Park” with a big plastic Uluru and a Sydney Harbour bridge, but it’s not going to look like that though is it? M: No definitely not. We have taken a very conscious effort to come up with something that represents Australia in the Arabian gulf. And the clients who are Kuwaitis were very conscious of that as well. The shape of Australia is kept intact – in fact the perimeter of Australia stays the same. But we have looked at how Australians live and we live around the edge of Australia – we live on the coast so the development is actually made up of a mixture of development including apartments, residential, - not high rise/low rise – the density is actually on the east coast and the less density is on the west coast. A: And have you got a red centre? M: We haven’t got a red centre, no we’ve actually created a lot of waterways because, like Australia, in the Middle East they like to live against the water and Dubai is actually running out of waterfront space. So in creating these islands we are actually creating another 200 kms of waterfront. So in shaping Australia we looked at what Australia looks like from the air – the waterways, the rivers, the saltpans, and we created a very abstract view of Australia. A: And how big is Australasia? M: It’s about 40 hectares in area and its made up of 16 islands so you can imagine its shape to be very organic and if you looked at it from the air some of it looks like aboriginal artwork; in fact the developers and the marketing people are looking to commission aboriginal artwork because it represents the view of Australia from the air. So it’s a very interesting development in that respect. A: You haven’t forgotten Tasmania, have you? M: We haven’t forgotten Tasmania. It also includes New Zealand. Oceanus is the name of it and Oqyana is the name which has been given to the development. And the reason it was given the name of Oqyana is in the old Arabic nautical charts. A: And also the word “ocker”. M: Yes, that’s right. It does represent Australia in many ways… Woods Bagot have obviously been the first in there and the whole project is valued at US$2 billion so it’s no small project and the opportunity for Australian companies in providing Australian goods could actually be like an Australian Expo on the island. A: And you say that there are going to be homes on these islands so what would it cost to buy one, or could I buy a whole island – Tasmania perhaps? M: You could if you were an investor… The waterways are developed so that you can pull up your luxury yacht or launch on one side, walk through your villa, and on the other side you have a private beach. There are also apartments so it’s a very much a mixture, and around the main marina is virtually like Sydney harbour where you have a lot of marinas, boardwalks, cafes, restaurants, and the total population would be about 11,000 people including two shifts of workers.


A: Now it doesn’t sound to me as if we are talking about the sort of people who are going to need mortgages. What will the most expensive home cost? M: Most of these homes are “on application” - the price on application – but we do know that… A:(interrupts)… a worrying sign… M: I think the most expensive is probably around US$10 million but a luxury mansion is aimed at the high market and the international market, and as you know we are in a wealthy region in Dubai but it is attracting people from Europe etc. A: Well Woods Bagot has been in Dubai for about 5 years now, so how did you get your first job there? M: We originally started in 1997 working with Multiplex. In fact Multiplex invited us to work on the Emirates towers, which at that time was the ninth tallest building in the world.

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And since then we haven’t looked back. In fact Woods Bagot have been exporting services from Australia and from the Middle East we are keeping at least 100 architects a year working in Australia on projects and we now have work in Bahrain – it’s not just Dubai – we’re developing the same in Qatar, the Qatar Science and Technology Park and various other … the whole region is expanding and offering a great opportunity for architects. A: Now presumably it’s not just Australians – it must be international architects competing for a lot of these jobs, so how’s Australia faring in the competition? M: I think we’re faring very well. Woods Bagot was one of the earliest there in the region. We now have an office of people 60 plus … as I said we are employing about 100 people back in Australia. We do believe that we are very competitive and obviously Australians come from a competitive market and compete against the British, the Americans, the Canadians, the Singaporeans. We’re faring well and there’s a lot more Australians – I think there’s about 4000 Australians now living in the UAE alone. A: What are Australian architectural practices – not just yours – generally what have they got going for them that might give them a bit of an advantage? M: One – we’re flexible. The client in the region – if you take Dubai as example. The division of the ruler, the Crown Prince - they want to progress very quickly they want things to be done quickly. Australians are very reactive in that. We’re very innovative and very flexible. We’re used to doing things in a much more rapid pace than in the UK and other places. A: But just thinking about Dubai for example I wouldn’t have thought that the population was big enough for them to need a lot of development so who is going to live and work in all these new developments? M: The grand plan for Dubai is very accelerated. They have come a long way in the last 30 or 40 years. About 70% of Dubai is under construction or reconstruction at the moment. We have done several developments – one with six towers 750 apartments - all sold within the first week or so. They’re being bought up by the large catchment area that surrounds it in Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Pakistan, but also Europeans are now starting to buy as well. They are now predicting that at least 15 million visitors by 2008 will be coming to visit for tourism and commerce and a lot of these people are actually starting to buy - now that you can buy freehold which has only been in the last 18 months and that has been an opportunity. People can now buy in Dubai and have freehold land, which was never the case before. A: And have permanent visas, I gather… M : And have permanent visas - yes, and so they are not only buying for themselves, they are buying for their families they’re buying for investment. There’s an investment boom as well and people are selling, on-selling properties they’ve bought with only a 10% deposit and with a 50% profit. That won’t last forever however there is a big demand for residential and obviously for hotels and there will be another 600 hotels built by 2009 and we’re currently working on at least 12 of them. A: So aside from visitors is there something of a population shift going on here? M: The big shift is that they are moving from an oil based revenue in Dubai to a tourism trade and economist based which is coming from places like Singapore and Hong Kong etc.

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A: The sort of sites that you get to design for - I mean they’re not just corner blocks - they’re hectares in size. So are there challenges that accompany designing that sort of scale, or does it just give you a sense of freedom? M: There’s sense of freedom, but you can ask any architect that unless you get boundaries and a brief - the brief with every one of these clients they want something ‘unique’. Now in Australia, we would have boundaries that would say we want something that’s commercially viable and this is the amount you have got to spend and we’ve done projects where something couldn’t fit into the boundaries, they just expanded them. So it really is an open book which sometimes makes it difficult because the restrictions aren’t there. But as with anything the brief is “I want something yesterday”. Our timetables are usually about a third of what we would get in Australia, UK or the United States. A: What about controls? Talking about freedom, are there government controls, industry controls on say sustainability grounds, on what’s being built? M: Yes there are – they’re coming in. I think it’s a catch-up sort of thing. We as responsible international architects … we bring our international expertise to the local environment. There’s a level of education that’s coming with growth that’s on a catch-up, and also the infrastructure is on a catch-up but it seems that money is not the issue at the moment, it’s progress that’s wanted. Currently we’re doing a very large development of residential and resort, and it’s all very eco-tourist based. It’s in the desert but it’s very well planned and we’re using all the environmentally sustainable design issues that we can possibly push on to the client and he’s accepting it, so it shows a sign of change. A: Yes, well the environment must be a problem because it gets seriously hot there doesn’t it? M: Well I’m in London now and I only arrived last night, but yesterday it was 48 degrees and 90% humidity when I left. That’s the sort of environment we have there – very difficult in summer. Most of the water is desalinated water from the Gulf. It rains sometimes; I think last year it was one hour all year for the whole year of rain, so there is a whole lot of infrastructure that has to be up to support this. A: Now the actual existing cities of this area are quite ancient, so are elements of this history, like the mosques and the Souks being preserved? M: They are. Dubai was a very small pearling village and most of the buildings were made of local mud type earth walls and they don’t last very long and the environment actually wears them down. There’s not a lot of history as such that’s more than 60-70 years old. However, trying to replicate that in the way they developed some of the developments and our challenge as architects is there are clients that want to have an international flavour but want to keep that Arabic feeling to it, so we are looking to bring a contemporary Arabic architecture into the region. Using our expertise as international architects and our local knowledge of what are the real things that are precious to the local people. And the way that they live. A: Do you think this building boom is at its peak now, or is there still some way to go? M: There is still some way to go. A lot of people are still putting another ten years on this; you can imagine the infrastructure is catching up now. There’s hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in infrastructure, rail networks, all sorts of things are going in at the moment and they’re only going to make this work a lot better. So I believe that until the economy is changed so it’s not reliant on any oil revenue – I think it will keep on going and I think that the Dubai government will keep on pushing this, and it’s actually having a flow-on effect as well to surrounding areas. Bahrain has got its new financial centre – it’s building a new airport – it’s building a major shopping centre, we’re doing a $US400 million big centre there. Qatar with its large gas reserves is doing same thing. They’ve got a very progressive development at west bay where 100 towers are being built for a new diplomatic quarter and commerce centre. I guess the borders with Iraq have been a bit more resolved, they are now progressing very well and they’ve got a lot of major developments happening there as well. Of course, they’re very oil wealthy. And then you’ve got other places like Oman and Jordan that are equally starting to get that spin-off. A: Mark, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

Alan Saunders, ABC Radio © 17th August 2005

“We are looking to bring a contemporary Arabic architecture into the region”

Mark Mitcheson-Low


AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE In the city of Dubai and the wider Middle East in the past, as far as you could see everything was desert, but nowadays that is not the case. Today, as far as you can see there are cranes, islands and roadworks. We are creating cities here, not just individual developments, and the built fabric of these cities will provide the roots for future society and the development of the civilisations which will stem from them. Not many architects have the opportunity to experience such a phenomenon in their lifetime. It’s like building a city such as New York, not in century, but in a decade. For an architect in Australia a property boom means a few new towers are built on the city skyline. Here we witness the building of a whole city in a single boom – that’s an incredible sight. It sounds fanciful, but it is true that if you leave and return for a week or so later there will always be something new happening. Culture vs growth The one thing that people can’t find when they come to Dubai is a deep historical past. This is because Dubai hasn’t been developed over a long period of time. Like every other city, the architecture and art here is a reflection of the era in which they were developed, and how we lived, worked and played at the time. In the case of the Middle East cities such as Dubai, which are taking a few decades rather than centuries to develop, they will bear the date of a period fixed by the architectural style of most of their buildings. Good design is, however, timeless whether it is from the 18th century, the 1960s or now. We predict that in Dubai major parts of the less planned city areas will be demolished and new city centres will spring up in their place. That is where we, as master planners and designers, come in. There has been no city planning until recently, as large plots are released to various developers who undertake mega developments which put pressure on the already stretched infrastructure. This is why there are not even street addresses or street numbers in Dubai. Most addresses are distinguished by a nearby landmark, a roundabout or a building. These developments dump huge levels of increased traffic on an already clogged road system and there is hardly a road in Dubai which is not being either demolished or rebuilt. A public transport system is only just being introduced, when a new Dubai rail system is developed, starting in 2006. Everything is new and everything is very fast; it’s all about money and it’s all about brand, the biggest, the world’s first and anything new. Although you may miss a deep background of history and culture and long for it to be reflected in the theatre and art, you learn to appreciate that there is an underlying local culture that is not immediately evident. After working in the region for the past decade, Woods Bagot expresses its approach to contemporary international design in many of its major projects, but we also acknowledge Arabic culture, art and the climate of the region in our design. Desert safari Sometimes the only way to experience a bit of culture is to get out of Dubai. It’s a very harsh environment, particularly in summer. We recently spent some time in the Liwa Oasis, on the border of Saudi Arabia and on the edge of the ‘Empty Quarter’. The latter name speaks for itself, as it is the size of France, a an endless stretch of desert, a no mans land with nothing but massive sand dunes rolling on as far as the eye can see. Years ago it was possible to take your dog, drive along the beach and stop somewhere and camp the night. You’d wake up in the morning and the water would be pristine. But because there’s so much construction and the population has grown, it has become impossible to do that. The government has closed a lot of the beaches as they are owned by hotels and the public beaches have many restrictions. Dubai is greatly extending its coast line by constructing the three palm developments: Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and the largest, Palm Deira. Palm Deira alone adds 400 km of coastline to Dubai and in combination with the World Islands and Dubai Waterfront, over 1000 km of additional waterfront property has been created.


Religion Religion undeniably affects many aspects of life. If you live within earshot of a mosque, as most of us do, then you are always aware of it. Even the basis of the Islamic banking system dictates the way some of the projects are financed. The law is completely different for local banks. You don’t have to pay interest and sometimes banks will lend you the total amount needed for building. Consequently they will take all the income from that project for the next five years until it’s paid out, when it becomes yours, so you don’t part with any money out of your pocket to start with. It’s very hard to explain to people what it’s like living here. When people come and stay they stay in the luxury hotels. It’s an eastern country with a western veneer, so it entices Westerners and it entices tourists, but once you get down to the streets and you get out and live in the community, you know that it is a very eastern country with its own rules and values. Even with all the towers that have been constructed, there is still a shortage in accommodation. This in turn generates increases in the cost of accommodation and the Gulf newspaper recently reported that costs have gone up by 40 per cent in the last year: the cost of living, the cost of accommodation, the cost of goods, the cost of running a business. There is now not enough office space to accommodate new business so office space rental is going through the roof. People realise that if this is not kept in control that they may cost themselves out of the market. A 24/7 studio The Dubai studio numbers over 60 staff and is a global architectural mixing pot. There are Australian, Swiss German, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian and British architects. We have a really good mix and everyone gets on well. That is just as well, because the hours are long and the timetables short, as everything has to be ready yesterday. There’s always someone in the office and it’s only officially closed on a Friday – a six-day week office. This does get to people as there doesn’t seem to be an end to each week; they start working on Saturday and work on Sundays as well. They’re used to having their weekends and this takes a lot of getting used to for newcomers. Generally we get business calls any day of the week, because no non-Muslim is ever sure whether you are working that day or not. There is a saying in Dubai: ‘We all came on different ships but we are all in the same boat now’. Sheikh Mohammed tells us we have only seen 10 per cent of his plans for the country. I come to work every day just to see what happens next!

We all came on different ships but we are all in the same boat now.


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NO LONGER ‘GIRT BY SEA’ AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE AS A GLOBAL PROPOSITION Part 1: Rodger Dalling Part 2: Ivan Ross


OUR STAFF MAY COME FROM MANY DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS BUT WE BEHAVE AS A COMMUNITY, WORKING TOGETHER WHATEVER THE TIME OR PLACE. At any given time or place across the four regions in which we practise we can hear the painful moans from one of our studios. While we are separated by great distances, we are united by a density of thought and mutual discomfort that ensures nobody lets any body else down. It is a strange bond that links 430 individuals into a simultaneous thinking machine, processing data and analysing world events that affect different people in different ways all over the world. We share a thirst for a new knowledge that enriches us all, ensuring the survival of our practice and supplying the material that allows us to evolve into a global entity. There are very few professional services businesses operating as a truly global entity where information, data, technology and human resources are thrown into a simmering melting pot of opportunities to produce our peculiar amalgamation of professionals: architects, consultants, managers, students and academics. In order to create this vision we have become geographically liberated. We operate like the European Community: we need no passports to move from one studio to another; there is a common bank account and our currency is knowledge. Our clients come to us to gain access to the inspiration and information we have acquired throughout the world. This gives us a unique empathy with clients world-wide. Being nationals of an island continent encourages in some Australians sentiments of isolationism, protectionism and, the daddy of them all, ‘cultural cringe’. But our status as people against history and with a short national history makes us perfectly equipped to be involved with the ongoing and yetto-be completed modernisation of the world. There are benefits from being an island continent: Australian farmers can prevent imported diseases from affecting their produce. But culturally we sometimes feel our shores are like a prison barrier that we need to leap over in order to reconnect with the historical roots of our immigrant ancestors. In this context, Australian architects have always taken references from established trends while at the same time interpreting design solutions that take into account climate, context and local materials. As a global design firm Woods Bagot are pioneers in new markets that have technical skills and distinct areas of expertise equal to our own. The ‘tyranny of distance’ has caused us to develop stronger IT systems, a team culture and a ‘can do’ attitude. Our specialists are more mobile than most and the world clock allows us to work as a team regardless of time zones. Woods Bagot uses a common intranet to link studios and form responsive networks using the same management and CAD systems to communicate with each other globally using a common language: the architecture of ideas.


The associated with is familiar to thosethat that share Manyriskchallenges areGlobalisation imposed on companies take our on desire new to go global. Financing expansion can be a drain on existing capital and resources. markets in other countries, but none is greater than the need Contracts may not followWe conventional delivery structures mayworkforce not be in place for localisation. intend to haveand anlegal international to protect the rights of the parties; this is especially true in Asia and the Middle East. displaying a common culture of design quality and a management The last millennium for Woods Bagot was about extending our boundaries beyond the style that thebecoming maturity of the and its work of island. This nextdemonstrates millennium is about a global playerfirm linked to quality independence from Australia. Woods Bagot will move work tasks international significance. We will be, and are currently, achieving this through and specialist staff wherever they are needed to target specific alliances with other Australian firms and Australian clients also wanting to extend opportunities. Thelarger matrix of studios will always have local their network and seek markets. qualities andare complex and theymarkets will in beother locally Many challenges imposedcharacteristics, on companies that take on new relevant architecturally. our network, countries, but none is greater than However, the need forthrough localisation. Internationalisation of our workforce common culture of design quality and management will Woods Bagotwithin willa identify projects that will benefit from demonstrate maturity withinresponse. the firm without a ‘dependence’ on Australia -- quite Public anda our global the contrary. Woods Bagot will move and workfirm tasks in all build directions, Our continued success as a specialists global design will targeting specific opportunities, using our best people. on Australian qualities that allow the underdog to achieve. The matrix of technological Studios will always investment have ‘local’ qualities Continued is necessary to maintain and characteristics, and be locally relevant architecturally; however through our our advantage of being in service and responsive throughout network, Woods Bagot will identify projects that will benefit from an international the 24 response.hour day and the mobility of our staff and specialists from onesuccess officeastoan another will introduce them to the Continued International Design Firm will rely international stage of world architecture, no longer girt by sea. on Australian qualities that allow the underdog to achieve: continued investment in our technologies is necessary to maintain our advantage of 24 hour serviceability and responsiveness; and intra mobility of our staff and specialists will introduce them to the International stage of World Architecture and no longer “Girt by Sea.

Being in a perpetual state between the birth of an idea and its realisation ensures we are never satisfied or complacent. This is the fundamental energy that drives our global operation – honing and perfecting our craft. The risks associated with globalisation are familiar to those who share our desire to expand. Financing expansion can be a drain on existing capital and resources. Contracts may not follow the conventional delivery patterns that we have become used to and legal structures may not be in place to protect the rights of the parties involved, this is especially true in Asia and the Middle East. For Woods Bagot the 21st century is about becoming a global player and producing high quality work of international significance. We will be, and currently are, achieving this through alliances with other Australian firms and Australian clients also wanting to extend their network and seek larger markets.


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frank.rog@woodsbagot.com.au gordana.ticak@woodsbagot.com.au grace.alessi@woodsbagot.com.au hanni.tan@woodsbagot.com.au harry.charalambous@woodsbagot.com.au holly.barber@woodsbagot.com.au an.munro@woodsbagot.com.au isabel.letham@woodsbagot.com.au ivan.kokrhelj@woodsbagot.com.au ivan.ross@woodsbagot.com.au james.calder@woodsbagot.com.au jane.divita@woodsbagot.com.au jose.grima@woodsbagot.com.au josh.watt@woodsbagot.com.au julia.tseng@woodsbagot.com.au karen.smith@wbproperty.com kate.frear@woodsbagot.com.au kel.dennis@woodsbagot.com.au kerryn.minehan@woodsbagot.com.au lee.lambrou@woodsbagot.com.au loren.holmes@woodsbagot.com.au marija.cakarun@woodsbagot.com.au mark.kelly@woodsbagot.com.au matt.hederics@woodsbagot.com.au michael.buhl@woodsbagot.com.au michael.fryer@woodsbagot.com.au mirelle.walker@woodsbagot.com.au nancy.everingham@woodsbagot.com.au neha.narayan@woodsbagot.com.au nik.karalis@woodsbagot.com.au peter.jamieson@woodsbagot.com.au peter.korkolis@woodsbagot.com.au peter.miglis@woodsbagot.com.au pierre.mendonca@woodsbagot.com.au rita.romeo@woodsbagot.com.au rodger.dalling@woodsbagot.com.au ronald.suranto@woodsbagot.com.au sarah.alessi@woodsbagot.com.au sarah.ball@woodsbagot.com.au scott.willey@woodsbagot.com.au sophie.foo@woodsbagot.com.au sue.fenton@woodsbagot.com tamsin.mclean@woodsbagot.com.au tim.oloan@woodsbagot.com.au tim.richardson@woodsbagot.com.au tom.gray@woodsbagot.com.au tracy.aplin@woodsbagot.com.au trish.turner@woodsbagot.com.au wade.little@woodsbagot.com.a winston.yong@woodsbagot.com.au zeljko.ticak@woodsbagot.com.au alicia.brown@woodsbagot.com.au amanda.morgan@woodsbagot.com.au anderson.toh@woodsbagot.com.au andrew.lian@woodsbagot.com.au cian.davis@woodsbagot.com.au emma.malone@woodsbagot.com.au eugene.leong@woodsbagot.com.au gary.faehse@wbproperty.com ian.jeffery@woodsbagot.com.au john.liddiard@woodsbagot.com.au joshua.ogawa@woodsbagot.com. kaewoei.lim@woodsbagot.com.au keat.tan@woodsbagot.com.au kristy.rewell@woodsbagot.com.au lisa.murray@woodsbagot.com.au luiz.aguiar@woodsbagot.com.au mark.bredmeyer@woodsbagot.com.au matthew.si@woodsbagot.com michael.michelides@woodsbagot.com.au ross.anderson@woodsbagot.com.au ross.donaldson@woodsbagot.com.au sandy.franco@woodsbagot.com.au sian.fitzpatrick@woodsbagot.com.au pengwei.song@woodsbagot.com.au zenifa.bunic@woodsbagot.com.au adam.solomons@woodsbagot.com.au adrian.hernandez@woodsbagot.com.au agnes.sassoli@woodsbagot.com.au aleksandra.wormald@woodsbagot.com.au alice.drew@woodsbagot.com.au angela.sampson@woodsbagot.com.au belinda.creswell@woodsbagot.com.au bianca.macfarlane@woodsbagot.com.au bradley.johnson@woodsbagot.com.au carl.redfern@woodsbagot.com.au caroline.thomson@woodsbagot.com.au claudia.barriga-larriviere@woodsbagot.com.au daniel.north@woodsbagot.com.au david.marchant@woodsbagot.com.au eric.gardiner@woodsbagot.com.au domenic.alvaro@woodsbagot.com.au earle.arney@woodsbagot.com.au emma.nicholson@woodsbagot.com.au enzo.caroscio@woodsbagot.com.au essam.hanna@woodsbagot.com.au esther.dickins@woodsbagot.com.au felice.carlino@woodsbagot.com.au fitri.wahib@woodsbagot.com.au geoff.breen@woodsbagot.com.au georgia.singleton@woodsbagot.com.au greg.harper@woodsbagot.com.au jackie.prince@woodsbagot.com.au jeanette.harper@woodsbagot.com.au jenny.saul@woodsbagot.com.au jill.greensmith@woodsbagot.com.au jonathan.chambers@woodsbagot.com.au jonathan.lindsay@woodsbagot.com.au jula.spilker@woodsbagot.com.au julia.gallagher@woodsbagot.com.au karen.bendixsen@woodsbagot.com.au katie.cotman@woodsbagot.com.au katie.lintner@woodsbagot.com.au kyle.paine@woodsbagot.com.au kanyarat.namprempree@woodsbagot.com.au lauren.oneile@woodsbagot.com.au leone.lorrimer@woodsbagot.com.au linda.locatelli@woodsbagot.com.au lucy.denham@woodsbagot.com.au lucy.loneragan@woodsbagot.com.au martin.stewart@woodsbagot.com.au nick.laptev@woodsbagot.com.au nicola.brew@woodsbagot.com.au nina.james@woodsbagot.com.au olaf.reuffurth@woodsbagot.com.au paige.turner@woodsbagot.com.au peter.fleming@woodsbagot.com.au peter.hoskins@wbproperty.com philip.parsons@woodsbagot.com.au phillip.tytler@woodsbagot.com.au ralph.sondgen@woodsbagot.com.au rob.meneses@woodsbagot.com.au robert.cahill@woodsbagot.com.au ross.fletcher@woodsbagot.com.au sally.birch@woodsbagot.com.au sanjeet.khaira@wbproperty.com scott.henderson@woodsbagot.com.au tamara.white@woodsbagot.com.au thomas.bloch@woodsbagot.com.au vanessa.brajtman@woodsbagot.com.au vania.contreras@woodsbagot.com.au vince.pirrello@woodsbagot.com.au vivienne.ni@woodsbagot.com.au Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:49:19 +0000 Sydney ASIA david.tregoning@woodsbagot.com.hk angus.barron@woodsbagot.com.hk bill.lykouras@woodsbagot.com.hk branco.hsieh@woodsbagot.com.hk bryan.dicken@woodsbagot.com.hk charlotte.varley@woodsbagot.com.hk christine.woo@woodsbagot.com.hk claude.touikan@woodsbagot.com.hk daphne.young@woodsbagot.com.hk elaine.tsui@woodsbagot.com.hk frederick.fung@woodsbagot.com.hk geoffrey.wong@woodsbagot.com.hk holly.ng@woodsbagot.com.hk holy.wong@woodsbagot.com.hk isaac.kam@woodsbagot.com.hk jason.marriott@woodsbagot.com.h jean.weng@woodsbagot.com.hk jessie.pasatiempo@woodsbagot.com.hk joey.leung@woodsbagot.com.hk kate.yung@woodsbagot.com.hk kel.dennis@woodsbagot.com.hk kevin.meng@woodsbagot.com.hk leslie.chan@woodsbagot.com.hk marie.stephan@woodsbagot.com.hk mathilde.lucas@woodsbagot.com.hk michael.wu@woodsbagot.com.hk omid.ferdowsian@woodsbagot.com.hk rex.yu@woodsbagot.com.hk siva.lee@woodsbagot.com.hk stephen.jones@woodsbagot.co suely.yeung@woodsbagot.com.hk tracy.yaoqi@woodsbagot.com.hk winnie.chiu@woodsbagot.com.hk alvin.lee@woodsbagot.com.my azrina.arshad@woodsbagot.com.my chewyee.choo@woodsbagot.com.my harnin.koh@woodsbagot.com.m indra.ramanathan@woodsbagot.com.my kartini.jamaludin@woodsbagot.com.my yunmiau.lim@woodsbagot.com.my rafidah.mohdsidek@woodsbagot.com.my shah.sidek@woodsbagot.com.my ululazmi.saring@woodsbagot.com.my Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 07:49:42 +0000 Hong Kong MIDDLE EAST alfred.seeling@woodsbagot.ae amin.alsaden@woodsbagot.ae andy.powell@woodsbagot.ae anoop.menon@woodsbagot.ae bill.vivarelli@woodsbagot.ae brett.mccamish@woodsbagot.ae carolyn.mclean@woodsbagot.ae chandanampurath.siju@woodsbagot.ae david.wincey@woodsbagot.ae dean.bradbury@woodsbagot.ae dorotea.serna@woodsbagot.ae duncan.parkinson@woodsbagot.ae edith.eddycastela@woodsbagot.ae emma.kennedy@woodsbagot.ae fabian.graf@woodsbagot.ae fariborz.hatam@woodsbagot.ae fatimah.akhtar@woodsbagot.ae gareth.evans@woodsbagot.ae garry.marshall@woodsbagot.ae grant.boshard@woodsbagot.ae greg.bond@woodsbagot.ae hugh.thomson@woodsbagot.ae jamna.jakosalem@woodsbagot.ae jascha.oakes@woodsbagot.ae keith.dealhoy@woodsbagot.ae leone.lorrimer@woodsbagot.ae lingsy.babu@woodsbagot.ae maan.alsalloum@woodsbagot.ae mahmoud.tannir@woodsbagot.ae mark.mitcheson-low@woodsbagot.ae martina.konrad@woodsbagot.ae mini.elias@woodsbagot.ae mohammed.khaled@woodsbagot.ae nadine.dacosta-alves@woodsbagot.ae nahrin.oda@woodsbagot.aenooh.alnooh@woodsbagot.ae peter.nielsen@woodsbagot.ae ravi.jaitly@woodsbagot.ae ravi.kumar@woodsbagot.ae rebecca.stichbury@woodsbagot.ae rob.kirk@woodsbagot.ae robert.morgan@woodsbagot.ae robyn.cairnes@woodsbagot.ae rohith.haridas@woodsbagot.ae sarah.mitchell@woodsbagot.ae steven.blaess@woodsbagot.ae stuart.uren@woodsbagot.ae Date: Thu, 30 Mar 20 01:49:41 +1000 Dubai EUROPE adrian.mignot@woodsbagot.co.uk anna.faunt@woodsbagot.co.uk anna.white@woodsbagot.co.uk anton.jansz@woodsbagot.co.uk bharat.shah@woodsbagot.co.uk chris.savva@woodsbagot.co.uk dwayne.murphy@woodsbagot.co.uk eddie.allen@woodsbagot.co.uk fiona.mckay@woodsbagot.co.uk geraldine.fourmon@woodsbagot.co.uk gio.vettori@woodsbagot.co.uk gordon.rose@woodsbagot.co.uk graeme.rapley@woodsbagot.co.u greg.silvera@woodsbagot.co.uk jason.reed@woodsbagot.co.uk jesse.torres@woodsbagot.co.uk karen.whittle@woodsbagot.co.uk karim.benkirane@woodsbagot.co.uk kevin.pollard@woodsbagot.co.uk lina.berg@woodsbagot.co.uk lyndon.wade@woodsbagot.co.uk michael.kerr@woodsbagot.co.uk mimi.dietrich@woodsbagot.co.uk nebojsa.sindjelic@woodsbagot.co.uk paul.murphy@woodsbagot.co.uk paul.radtke@woodsbagot.co.uk phil.woodstock@woodsbagot.co.u rebecca.finn@woodsbagot.co.uk rob.kent@woodsbagot.co.uk rob.steul@woodsbagot.co.uk roger.vickers@woodsbagot.co.uk samantha.hunter@woodsbagot.co.uk sarah.kay@woodsbagot.co.uk simon.evans@woodsbagot.co.uk simon.pole@woodsbagot.co.uk stacey.hawkins@woodsbagot.co.uk stephan.reinke@woodsbagot.co.uk zyla.mjekiqi@woodsbagot.co.uk Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 23:49:51 +1000 London


88 89

NO LONGER ‘GIRT BY SEA’ AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE AS A GLOBAL PROPOSITION Part 1: Rodger Dalling Part 2: Ivan Ross


WE STILL DRINK TEA AND HAVE AN OVER SUPPLY OF MILO. IT’S PART OF BEING REAL.


IF BECOMING TRULY GLOBAL IS DIFFICULT, WHY PURSUE THIS GOAL? ULTIMATELY THIS WILL DRIVE US TO PRODUCING BETTER OUTCOMES FOR OUR CLIENTS THAN WE COULD ACHIEVE BY JUST BEING LOCAL OR REGIONAL.

Distance and difference are no longer the barriers they once were. Travel and communications technology has broken these down over the past few decades and this has accelerated with the explosion of the internet. Despite our relative isolation, Australian firms have taken the opportunity to work overseas, while overseas firms have entered our own local market. Many large architectural and design firms have expanded globally, although the strategic rationale and business models employed have differed widely. Think … act … ‘Think global, act local’ – a phrase that is now so widely used to describe global strategy it has become a cliché. At Woods Bagot, our experience has given us a different take on this phrase: ‘Think’ is the easy part; the real challenge is how you make it happen – ‘act’. Becoming truly global is about individual moments of truth, how our people act when faced with a trade-off between global and local interests, for example, by directing resources to support a client in another region rather than using those resources on local marketing efforts. This is not always easy to achieve.

IF BECOMING TRULY GLOBAL IS


Demonstrating a shared vision A global culture starts with a shared vision – a common passion – that everyone understands and believes in. This shared vision must be supported from the top with both words and actions. If leaders always act in the best interests of the local or regional firm, employees will realise that the goal of a global culture is pure rhetoric. But it is always easy to justify putting local interests ahead of global ones, even when that might not lead to the best outcome for the client or the firm. Clear and consistent actions from the top are needed to persuade the staff that a global culture is a serious aim. The most powerful influence in defining culture is the firm’s reward system. This is not just the dollar rewards but also the less tangible ones such as recognition. The rewards must be consistent with the desired outcomes. Where the desired outcome is a global culture, measurement can be a little tricky. It is easy to create a reward system that credits the principal who leads the winning bid, or whose studio hits its profit target, but far more difficult to value the contribution of the person who flew over to contribute to the pitch or who spent a day contributing to the submission. It would take an incredibly complex system to attribute all these bits and pieces of credit in a formula-driven way. Global ownership cuts through this complexity, the owners must own a piece of the entire global firm, with a share in the outcomes that is based on their contribution to the global business. Many firms in the industry profess to be global but often have substantially separate regional and office ownership, with a veneer of brand over the top. In this case, maximising local profit, will always dominate any altruistic desire to support the global brand.


Relationships Firms do not cooperate, people do. The firm needs to provide opportunities for key individuals and groups to create relationships through regular interactions. The expense of these interactions is often hard to justify, but there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, both formal and social, to develop effective relationships. Exchanges, either on a project or a more long-term basis, are another great opportunity to build those personal bonds and understanding across the globe.

Cooperation is derived from duration. The longer the relationship exists, the more likely it is that it will need to be reciprocal. This is further reinforced if you know you are going to come face-to-face with an individual you may have let down. The firm can create a powerful and collaborative cycle as those who have had a positive experience of global support in turn become highly supportive of their global peers.


The value of being truly global So if becoming truly global is difficult, why pursue this goal? Ultimately this will drive us to producing better outcomes for our clients than we could achieve by just being local or regional. It is our ability to satisfy our clients that gives the firm its value and its reputation. Being a global organisation gives you scale, being a truly global firm gives you the power to leverage this scale: your access to international knowledge and skill, to self improvement by harnessing best practice, and access to innovation. Scale and global reach provide the opportunity for greater specialisation as there is sufficient critical mass within the firm to support it. The more projects you have, the more people you have, the more clients you have, the more opportunity you have to gather knowledge – if you effectively harness it. This is something local or regional firms struggle to match. A truly global specialist that is involved in all the globally significant projects within a specialisation will gain deeper experience at a far more rapid rate than someone operating in a narrow geographic market. A firm that is not truly global will struggle to develop, utilise and sustain such experts as charge rates, cost and revenue-sharing and ownership of the client relationship become major barriers.

THE DAR K S IDE OF ARC HIT ECT URE .

To be effective, this knowledge needs to be available to all of our people globally. This can be done formally through knowledge management systems or informally through the strong relationships built across the firm. Furthermore, a global firm has the scale to afford to invest in tools that codify this knowledge and make it available to client projects globally. A global firm is not for everyone. It entails a willingness to travel, a desire to experience things outside one’s own culture and openness to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Fortunately, most architects and designers have a thirst for professional growth and a strong desire to work on globally significant projects, wherever they may be. In turn, we find that these individuals tend to make the best design professionals. As a result, a truly global firm has the ability to attract the best people. At Woods Bagot, we strive to move beyond being an Australian firm with overseas interests to being a truly global firm in our outlook, capturing the best of what each of the regions has to offer. This combination of knowledge and knowledge-driven individuals, together with crosspollination from many different markets and an openness to new ideas, provides the ingredients that can generate a powerful force for innovation for our clients.


X

Y

Generation screwed it up and now Generation is fixing things.

Well, that isn’t entirely true

entirely true


In essence we began

to operate and look more and more like our clients.

Suits, ties, formality, rigour, and discipline ruled our business. All good things, but in the process we lost focus one the thing that we truly treasure – our creativity.


DEATH OF THE CORPORATION

104 105

The point is, they dress themselves in whatever makes them comfortable. No pretence. No pretending. Just great ideas and diversity. Thank you, 21st century. Nik Karalis


Baby boomers made it work, Generation X screwed it up and now Generation Y is fixing things. That isn’t entirely true, but the rapid pace with which our youth generation can learn, or are forced to learn, means the discipline of shirt, tie and the usual formalities no longer apply. Our forefathers paved our current course. They provided us with iPods, Nanos, laptops, internet, email, mobiles, jets and longer lives and yet we have never been so short of the one commodity that even Kerry Packer couldn’t buy – time. Time is the new wealth and Generation Y craves it more than ever. Woods Bagot spent most of its youth (137 years is no small feat) providing what we consider to be a great architectural service: listening, understanding, collaborating and unknowingly becoming a mirror of the corporations we worked for. We spent an inordinate amount of time vertically integrating services that the market demanded, and we were successful at it. Facility planners, strategists, landscape and graphics … whatever was needed; we bolted it on. In essence we began to operate and look more and more like our clients. We became them. Suits, ties, formality and rigid discipline ruled our business. These are all good things, but, in the process we lost focus of the one thing that made us all get up in the morning – our creativity. The one thing that our clients wanted more of. We had made space for so many other disciplines, we created a monster. We had become the yes men

(and women) we had ourselves vehemently criticised and we didn’t like what we stood for. We were (and are) better than that. Last year (2005) was a revolutionary year for the137-year-old business. We took stock, looked at the world we operate in and began to recognise that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. That the partners are our best asset. They are the brand. Their talent, the talent of the team around them, and the life experience they bring to the table makes us a truly unique and exciting company. Our corporation is no longer … a corporation. It is design studio, hectic and a little chaotic at times, with a focus on its people and their individual talents and creativity. People who work the far reaches of the globe. Some are in T-shirts, some are in shirts and ties and some: well, they need to go shopping. The point is, they dress themselves in whatever makes them comfortable. No pretence. No pretending. Just great ideas and diversity. Thank you, 21st century. By emerging as a free-thinking radical design studio, Public is foreshadowing the demise of corporate giants. In future, these giants with hierarchical structures and centralised rules will, by virtue of their own restrictive genetic make-up, run out of fuel and implode into a super heavy black hole. New urban patterns and occupations in all parts of the world will not be regulated by systematic planning guidelines and safeguarded by bureaucratic government officials. The community now has a stronger voice. In fact, most communities’ wants and desires have stretched way beyond the standards set by governments and their planning leaders. We no longer get wowed by cafes, shopping malls and mixed-use ‘villages’. They have been done, reinvented and become mainstream.

Most of our wants and desires run against the grain of centralised policy-making. Developers and planners can no longer presume that we will all shop alike, eat alike, live alike and work alike. We are no longer satisfied with being a self-imposed foreign architectural corporation driven by the private sector. Woods Bagot’s decisions are now contextualised throughout the globe. What is right for the client has to be right for the globe. This is the central role of Public. Innovation is often unplanned and it does not come about as a result of hour-long sessions around a whiteboard. It emerges from an amalgam of broader collaborations. Mediocre ideas can be spawn by 20 people in a workshop, yet inspired flashes of genius can result from a 10-minute chat with a colleague over coffee. Our forefathers relied on conventional strategies to shape, define and control the world. In the last 20 years however, new discoveries in sciences and medical biology have undermined the notion that life operates in predictable and recurrent events. Our lifestyle is our choice, controlled by our technology and crafted by a deep understanding of what and who we are. It doesn’t come from a textbook or user manual. The invention of Public combines the wisdom of age with the reality of massive change; change that is more easily understood by the current generation, who have seen more innovation in their limited time on earth than any other era has. These new pathways will be determined by the youth in their thirties who work to live; they do not live to work. They have high expectations for their quality of their life and the realistic expectation that they will live longer to enjoy it.


XY


XY


XY


114 115

Counterintuitive Collaborations Listen. Brainstorm. Draw Fast. Nik Karalis


no time to pee


The rapid pace of change in our contemporary world – from the changing status of architecture and urban planning to the new social forces that are emerging – is a catalyst for a new generation of collaborative designers and their creative ideas. The new role of the architect is to make built forms that connect with people, what they believe in and to protect nature and its resources. It is in this framework that the new era of design needs to operate. Intelligent and creative designers who do not bring predetermined outcomes or solutions to a problem can be the catalyst for redefining building types and the behaviour that can take place within them. Woods Bagot’s global expansion has given us the opportunity to bring together unconventional scenarios and multiple influences to discover counterintuitive outcomes for many of our clients in many different cities. We are global nomads scouring the world, looking for opportunities from odd interactions which makes remaining home almost torturous and making a city-based practice seem almost archaic. We believe that architects can no longer work in isolation, take plans and briefs and go away and develop them on their own, to present a complete scheme later to a passive audience that has participated in no stage of the process. If architects are to have a real community impact and participate in the complex matrix of urban and environmental strategies, a new working methodology needs to be adopted. This is what we are doing at Woods Bagot.

Woods Bagot operates in many regions in the world and engages with various cultures. Many of these aspire to a ubiquitous western solution. Our approach is to engage in each culture and search for opportunities within it, generating new interpretations – often from unexciting or perplexing briefs. One example of this that comes to mind is the World Islands development in Dubai. To form the World Islands master plan team we encouraged our client to diversify the creative forces on the project and work in association with Cornwell Design and other collaborators: a historian, a curator and an ambassador. This added another layer of complexity, another dimension and a brand to the new Australian archipelago of islands. The purpose of the project was to create a subdivision of island parcels. The creative tension of the team led to reinterpreting the clichés that foreign tourists have of Australia. We moved away from the ordinary definition of Australianness and towards a land formation in the World Islands that resembled nothing of the Australian coastline but is, instead, an abstract interpretation of our most sacred environmental treasures. The red centre and the myth of the great inland sea. It is this transportation into the conceptual that should drive change in the status of architecture and lead to new interpretations. Australia is the perfect platform to evolve these methodologies. It has a small population, relatively large cities and sensitive financial systems that are linked to global commodities and the US market. Most of our developers and bankers work on small margins with little room for error. As a result we need to refine all our developments – stripping them to the bare minimum to make them cost effective and without losing the essence of the idea. There is no buffer for our economic models and if we do not forecast costs precisely, immediate failure can result. In Australia, the critical mass of people and finance is too small to absorb any product that is not economically or environmentally viable. Market forces are so sensitive that even a small shift will bring any development to an indefinite halt.


Our clients ask us to be completely in tune with consumer living patterns. Where do they want to work? How do they shop? What should their living environments be like? We need to be able to predict the effect of any design decision as accurately as possible. Australia cannot allow the normal pattern of growth-equilibriumstagnation. Instead we search for a kind of instability as a new source of freedom, for unexpected clues to unleash desirable new behaviour and commodities. This is why we are well positioned to intervene in global markets and reinterpret guiding design principals. Our geographical remoteness affords us the luxury of being able to operate without an attachment to history or place. This helped us recently in the French island of Corsica, where, as outsider consultants we were able to overcome tight planning constraints and pressure from the authorities so as to reinterpret the traditional stone dwelling for a new era of inhabitants. The process we use to extend the boundaries of conventional approaches to complex urban solutions is to:

listen

brainstorm

draw fast

This allows us to capture the moment without allowing the jaded impact of conditioning to intervene. It is the curious interaction between seemingly disparate events that reshapes individual behaviour and we have to be alive to this and use it to bring about fresh, unexpected architectural outcomes. Only behaviour that changes our conditioning and allows for an unexpected evolution will have a positive effect on the global system of the city.

Listen

Brainstorm

Listening is a far more active process than simply recording client conversations and instructions and reinterpreting them in a methodical “stack and block” spreadsheet. It requires the ability to scan the world mentally, listening for a distant wave radiation of similar but unconnected scenarios or projects. We research the globe’s database to add other voices to the conversation so that these distant friends can bring another slant to it. Implicit in listening is the ability to unleash project sensitivities and vulnerabilities that can be exploited and reinterpreted. So our listening is more than hearing what was said; it is fine-tuning an ability to hear what is not said and read between the lines to interpret the connection between word and intent. The architect should not have a voice at this stage, but listen to the client in an atmosphere free of the language of architecture. The more random and free flowing the conversation the better the dialogue, and analysis will reveal the client’s true intent. Information gleaned from client conversations may be formalised in a report, but it is also planted as seed in our global subconsciousness, allowing future dreams to blossom.

How often do we enter workshops with a predetermined view of the outcome? Brainstorming should not be about consensus or outcomes beyond reasonable doubt. Its primary purpose is to unleash free flowing thoughts and explore the reasonable doubt. The workshop’s purpose is to ensure that all deliverables are met and also to capture disorderly and counterintuitive themes that emerge from it. The big ideas can come from anyone, so the more diverse the participants or stakeholders, the more random and exciting the mix may become. For just a moment, the architect moves away from the role of the creator and towards that of the mystic; making connections between free flowing data and extending their own capacity to invent beyond the constraints of the immediate issue. As a result all the stakeholders are united and committed to the genesis of the new project.


Draw fast No idea can become reality without a drawing. The more we labour with the drawing, the further we move away from the idea. One consequence of technology and documentation is to create a technical distance between inventors and participants in a brainstorm and the integrity of the idea. Architects can baffle a client with computer drawings. Their ability to intervene and influence the direction and intent moves the project further and further away from the original idea. Instead, closeness and spontaneity needs to be maintained with the sketch. The faster an idea touches paper, the more it can bounce around, not be committed, find another direction, slip off the page onto another sheet and overlay another thought. A sketch can extend itself beyond the first mark without erasing its source in the idea. Drawings need to be indispensable, just like words in a workshop. If we could draw as fast as we can talk, a project could move freely and immediately from one idea to another without our being committed to the drawing as a sacred object. Drawing fast should be another spontaneous counterintuitive process where ideas flow freely. Then the sketches can be pinned up and the discussion to confirm that the idea has been captured can begin. Slowly, each idea is destroyed until even more layers intervene to finally reveal the concept borne of many authors.


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interrogation earle arney

reading between the lines – what’s the big idea?


Architecture is a response to complex contexts.

To create inspirational solutions, clarity, precision and indeed inspirational poetry are required in not only the built work, but also the idea that underpins it.

Architecture is a

To create inspirational


The ubiquitous encroachment of the internet into our daily lives has led many to suggest that newspapers are ‘old media’. While the act of printing on paper raises issues of sustainability, many lessons can be learnt from the art and manner in which such journals tell their story. The best examples of such media present their stories in an easily comprehended and layered fashion; the headlines, the initial paragraphic overview and the body. Such layering of a story-line has many analogies to the process and story telling of our work. The newspaper headline is often an art-form itself. At best, headlines suggest a new way of looking at a familiar subject, in addition to encapsulating the broad ideas of a story and inviting curiosity to delve further. Similarly, from the inception of the design process, we rigorously test and analyse the brief to arrive at the headline, or ‘big idea’ of a project. This act of interrogation is fuelled by a desire to avoid premeditated solutions and arrive at a unique response to a place that underpins the business case of each project.

Source We have found that to elicit the big idea and cast off preconceptions, deciphering a brief in isolation is unreliable. The architectural briefs to which we respond are often narratives with a history of complexities and conflicts. We can analyse and assess such briefs only by dissecting them with our minds and hearts. If a brief is approached purely as the problem of a functional amalgam of spaces, like a scientist in a laboratory, the opportunity of discovering new approaches and appreciating the underlying complexity and nuances of a particular set of constraints is lost. To capture these often unread qualities, our approach is more akin to that of the studio process upon which the Beaux Arts Schools of Architecture were based. Similarly, at the very beginning of a project, we establish a collaborative workshop with our clients in which all are encouraged to contribute. In inviting our clients into this process, we are able to cast the net wide to ensure that we arrive at a fresh and innovative response to a brief. The unwritten brief or underlying story slowly emerges during these workshops to reveal issues as diverse as commercial risks and environmental responses. As a result of these workshops, our clients reward us by developing a sense of ownership of the process of making architecture, not just participating in the built result. In our experience the genius of ideas often arrives from the most obscure sources, experiences or conversations. Consequently, during these workshops, judgement is suspended and every idea is deemed to have potential value. We defer valuations and assessments to encourage lateral solutions that otherwise appear unfamiliar, unexpected or extreme. This process enables us to canvas ideas that range from the conservative to the apocalyptic.

Explore The range of ideas produced in these workshops provides a fertile ground to nurture the beginnings of a project. The role of the architect then shifts from that of prospector to that of researcher and analyst. Drawings and models are employed as research tools to test the range of ideas and resulting options for the built form. We use drawings as a way of generating the ideas which are the foundation of the architecture. This medium is also crucial for the testing of design assumptions and giving life to ideas. Indeed, the very act of drawing evokes immediate images and narratives of the intended work. To harness such awakenings, we do not rely on computer generated images alone. We also use hand-drawn perspectives to convey a sense of the experience of the building, not just its physicality. Similarly, models are used to test the ideas as compositional massing and as experiential space. Both media allow us to explore and often to make unexpected discoveries. Our IT resources are similarly harnessed to push the design as far as we can within the given time frame. In parallel with loose hand-drawn techniques and models, our CAD modellers employ new and innovative ways of using our computer systems to enable them to be integrated into the process. This combination of techniques continues from the initial sketch to construction itself.


Test Architects are often criticized for providing unintelligible descriptions of their buildings. We shy away from esoteric descriptions but we believe that intensive debate during the design process, from both the design and client teams, can lead to significant improvements in the quality of the designs realised. Through a process of constructive observations, rigorous evaluations and perceptive insight, a pre-eminent solution distinguishes itself. Transfer Often strong and sound ideas are eliminated on account of their lack of cohesion with the specific thrust of a project or compliance with the big idea. Nonetheless, the quality of such ideas are cherished and valued. As a result, the research that is produced by our process is considered as rich material that can be mined for future work. Indeed, the intellectual property that is generated from our processes is harnessed and shared between our network of studios. The ideas elucidated in developing an innovative workplace in Sydney may well find their way to be constructively embodied in a project in New Zealand or Bahrain. Distil Architecture is a response to complex contexts. To create inspirational solutions, clarity, precision and indeed inspirational poetry are required in not only the built work, but also the idea that underpins it. The interrogation of ideas is central to creating such outcomes and is the basis of our studio work. Throughout the design process, we engage in the search for the allencompassing idea that embodies the potential or essence of the scheme. This big idea becomes the backbone of the project from which all else hangs and is assessed. By distilling the essence of the project into a singular idea, the iterative design process, which simultaneously questions and proposes general and specific design solutions, becomes focused and aligned to the brief and targeted project outcome. The completed project becomes experienced not just as a physical response to place and economics, but of something much more compelling and enduring: an embodiment of an idea.


s strie Indu Architecture Annihilation scenari o Infra struc ture

s ard nd a t al s ion t a n e ter tur uc t in r s t e s igh fra H Oil production In tion terpretatation Heterogen isin MM eity isinterpre ned ExRefi pre ssi on rsity, complexity, transformation Stunning DiveInd ustries Metamorp hosis Extremity Greater visionT Coha bitatio an n of g gi racefu b l age le c on ta ct

Competitions Comple x

Brief

Extremity

Reflection Internet cit y

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Blitzing Mediocrity Leone Lorrimer


Poor quality public domain creates fertile ground for extreme acts of change. Extremity produces either leadership or devastation; and both are drivers of our evolving cityscapes. From one extreme to another, we observe the extreme makeover tactics of Dubai, the symbolic renewal of Ground Zero and the transformation of Berlin. Whilst it may appear that Dubai’s greatest success is marketing the ‘est’, such public manoeuvres eclipse a greater vision. The Maktoum Family has ruled Dubai since 1833, and established the first free trade zone with incentives in the late 1800s. With depth from the fishing and pearling industries, trade was the real end-game. Modish metamorphosis occurred with the unprecedented boom from oil production in the early 1970s. A thriving city rose from the desert sands on the promise of infrastructure and incentives. Dubai’s caravan to the cutting edge is far from complete. Icons dot the skyline (Emirates Towers, Burj Al Arab, The Gate) as symbols of foresight. Internet City, Media City, Dubai International Financial Centre, Knowledge City are the upcoming attractions. But the city will not develop humanity until its infrastructure can support its future state.


New York’s soul was torn; in one brief crashing, crushing, annihilation scenario, more like a Hollywood movie than a weekday morning in the Big Apple. Now the phoenix must rise from the ashes and carry with it the symbol of the city and its people. What began was “one of the most emotionally charged (design) competitions in US history.” Initial ideas were overwhelmed by grief and defiance, translating into solutions more art than architecture. Fresh ideas brought greater expression to a physical future; described as “helping us re-imagine who we are” and “overflowing with creativity and vision and raw emotion.”

The ultimate winner, Daniel Libeskind’s “Memory Foundations,” incorporates Freedom Tower, whose spire reflects the Statue of Liberty’s outstretched arm and torch. Its upper level gardens “are a constant affirmation of life.” An elevated walkway, surrounding the site, is called the Memorial Promenade. At ground level a “Wedge of Light” shines on a “Park of Heroes” just once a year for the time period of the collapse. New York selected a solution that provides human places for reflection, tangible contact with gardens both at ground and upper levels, and the dramatic use of light symbolically to mark the event annually. Berlin’s twins are still inequitable. The West’s ‘Zoo’ now attracts the tourists of the derelict. Transmutation is all Eastside.


together

against each other

The urban desert of The Berlin Wall’s no-man’s land was an early works package for Potzdammer Platz. It is accomplished; with contributions from the idols of the design coterie. It is planned; by the acclaimed and applauded. It sits within the context of the most stunning, mature, complex, refined, old city, within which are successful slashes of boldness and irreverence. Yet its cleanness, its control, its lack of spontaneity, craziness and humanity makes it less than masterful as a beating heart.

As architects and planners we are the custodians of our global future. We must hold ourselves accountable for the quality and amenity of our cities, the sustainability of development and the economic and social welfare of the communities we create. We must be prepared to condemn the vandals and to live by a code of ethics in our work.

We must not participate in projects that involve the forced displacement of communities, or that result in a reduction of living standards. We must apply the highest international standards to all our work, Adjacent to Potzdammer Platz, but ignored by PP’s contemporary creative clique, is the post-WW particularly in life, safety and environmental matters. We must not participate in programs II Kulturforum. Its centrepiece is Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonie, an expressionistic masterpiece, which that will result in, or contribute to, environmental cataclysms. We will commit to diversity, complexity, was intended to be a symbol of reunification. transformation and heterogeneity. Berlin’s true triumph is the cohabitation of graceful age with anarchic newness, exemplifed by the If you ask anyone what makes a good city, Reichstag and the DZ Bank. The Scandinavian the response will be consistent. There will be Embassy compound on the edge of the Tiergarten some iconic buildings, water, reflective spaces, is sublime. intricate alleys, broad boulevards and great food. Navigation will rely on landmarks and the ability In stark contrast, in the last decades we have to catch a cab or a train. The city will be populated witnessed the scorched earth brand of with the greatest diversity; in economic capacity, redevelopment, in cities too numerous to list. background, culture and beliefs. What we learn The outcome is often a distressingly bland is that our cities are ultimately places for people. homogeneity. Our shame is that the process Our icons reflect our aspirations, but our is effected with a vast, unmeasured human toll. streetscapes mirror our humanity. The ‘new world order’ must not equal the banishment of plurality and complexity in our cities and our communities. Planning must not be used as a weapon against the powerless and disenfranchised.

Reichstag Dome, Berlin Designed by Sir Norman Foster


140 141 TEAMWORK

TEAMW

SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGANISING

TEAMWORK

PARTICIPATE

CONTINUAL LE

INFORMATION AND SERVICE ECONOMY

DESK BOUND ANGELA SAMPSON

INTERACT

DIGITAL FRAMEWORK

CYBERSPACE

SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGANISING

SHARE FILES

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN

SHARE FILES

CREATING SPACES CONTINUAL LEARNING

CONTINUAL LEARNING

CONTINUAL LEARNING

CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE TOMORROW

INTERACT

NEED TO BUY ANOTHER FILING CABINET CONTINUAL LEARNING INTERACT DESK-BOUND INTERACT INTERACT

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

INTERACT

CREATING SPACES


INTERACT CYBERSPACE

WHY DO PEOP

INFORMATION AND SERVICE ECONOMY

In a world where we have the technology to work when, where and how we choose, we must answer the question, ‘Why do people go to work?’ Why not a virtual office or a business of telecommuters happily and productively working from the comfort of their own home, or in a digital harbour, where like-minded people connect through cyberspace? We live in an information and service economy, one that is more biological than mechanical in nature. Trafficking in knowledge embodies a philosophy that encourages, nurtures and enables creativity and opportunity; one that is flexible, adaptable, sustainable and self-organising. Today’s organisation is a living system of ideas and thought, conversation and review, circulation and change, ideas and thought.

INTERACT INTERACT TRAFFICKING IN KNOWLEDGE TEAMWORK

WORKPLACE

LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS INTERACT OPEN PLAN

CONTINUAL LEARNING WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK? TEAMWORK

NEED TO BUY ANOTHER FILING CABINET

SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGAN PEOPLE GO TO WORK TO CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGANISING

PARTICIPATE

CONTINUAL LEARNIN

DESK-BOUND DESK-BOUND DESK-BOUND DESK-BOUND TEAMWORK

Despite all attempts to revolutionise and change the workplace, essentially nothing has changed. Current management techniques capture a workforce under one roof and defines a hierarchy of structures to control and improve productivity. The argument for this method is that its army (workforce) needs to be in clear sight when management decides to make tactical manoeuvres. It presupposes that individuals are unable to make any decisions and require micro-management at all times. What we see today in the workplace is really nothing more than a different version of the open plan – where the ‘bits’ have been reshuffled behind a new façade. The consequence is that we remain desk-bound, as organisations continue to impose traditions and processes from an industrial age.

LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS

I suspect there is another reason why we are not all telecommuters. People go to work to connect with other people – to talk and interact. The desire to participate and contribute, learn and grow and to create security and stability in a chaotic world motivates people of all ages to come together to ‘work’. People want to participate, they value innovation and intellectual enrichment and see the necessity of continual learning. Grasping this will herald the shift from an environment that is organised by processes towards one that encourages stimulation and engagement. This allows employees to contribute to the knowledge owned by the organisation and ultimately, contribute to the stability and security of the organisation.

CONN CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE MICRO-MANAGEMENT

TOMORROW


CREATING SPACES

INTERACT CREATING SPACES

CREATING SPA

Such a shift will allow employees to influence and contribute to the collective well-being of an organisation in a relationship characterised by mutual exchange. It is this nexus between the two entities that requires radical transformation. Such a transformation will see changes in both management techniques and building types and will eventually dismantle the current hierarchy of employer and employee. A more communal and reciprocal relationship will produce new solutions in the workplace – creating spaces that both support the digital framework and enhance connections between people. Dismantling the hierarchy will result in the convergence of comfort and human resources – people and resources together, at the right time and in the right place. The outcome will be more important than the number of hours spent in the office. People and organisations will co-exist, sharing common values and goals. This symbiosis will build the energy and employee loyalty organisations long for.

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGANISING

OPEN PLAN

LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE

CONNECT WITH OTHER PE

DESK-BOUND DESK-BOUND

CREATING SPACES TEAMWORK NEED TO BUY ANOTHER FILING CABINET

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

INTERACT

WORKPLACE MICRO-MANAGEMENT OPEN PLAN

DIGITAL CODE

CREATING SPACES CREATING SPACES

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK? DIGITAL FRAMEWORK

TEAMWORK CREATING SPACES

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE

FREE FLOW OF IDEAS IN A RANDOM AND CHAOTIC PATTERN

DIGITAL CODE

SHARE FILES

INTERACT

OPEN PLAN

CREATING SPACES LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS

TEAMWORK

NEED TO BUY ANOTHER FILING CABINET

TOMORROW

FREE FLOW OF IDEAS IN A RANDOM AND CHAOTIC PATTERN LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS AND THOUGHT

TV

CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE


LE AND SELF-ORGANISING

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

Managers will not need to control territory. Information will no longer live in filing cabinets that need to occupy space. All information nowadays can be packed into a memory stick and worn as an ornament wherever we go. The new workplace will be the entire playing field that utilises all the facilities of the city. Teamwork will continue to flourish as we embrace a more organic way of mobilising and collaborating with colleagues and group together behind a common vision. Spaces will be customised to better enable and facilitate the desired outcome on a day-by-day, momentby-moment basis .

SUSTAINABLE AND SELF-ORGANISING

Organisational culture will need to embrace the demands of a distributed intelligence that is both tech-savvy and mobile. The new workforce wants the ability to choose – when they work, how they work – in a more flexible and trusting arrangement, respecting both the rights of the individual and the needs of the organisation.

TEAMWORK

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS

ENHANCE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE

LIVING SYSTEM OF IDEAS

CREATING SPACES

INTERACT

OPEN PLAN

DESK-BOUND DESK-BOUND

CREATING SPACES

WORKPLACE SHARE FILES

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO WORK?

SYSTEM OF IDEAS OPEN PLAN

DESK-BOUND


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The World’s fastest The World’s fa

The World’s fas The Wor The World’s fastest The World’s fastest

The World’s faste ANDREW The FORD World’s


The speed of pace in converting capital into

The speed of pace in converting capital into new cities, to capture world attention and the tourist trade often leaves insufficient time to integrate infrastructure, fundamental and responsible services.


The atlas of developments in world architecture and construction is changing. There is a noticeable movement from the USA and western Europe towards the East. The driving force behind this change is a new rank of decision-makers and new economic forces. These movements are not subject to the rules and restrictions previously known in the western world, nor can they be understood by familiar theories. A fundamental chapter of the world’s modernisation is now being written. These new cities will not be founded on historical settlements or traditional planning principals, and their inhabitants are not concerned that they have no historical precursor. Instead they embrace the idea of starting a new and are optimistic that they will succeed.

As lights are being switched off somewhere in the world, elsewhere new lights are being switched on. Nowhere is progress so rapid than China, where 1.5 billion people are marching towards middle-class lifestyles, led by the major economic experiments taking place along the Pearl River Delta and focused on the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai. These may be the first cities that constitute an unfamiliar territory of hybridised experiments. In the Middle East, money from the oil fields is being redirected to create new desert cities and tourist stopovers bridging the northern and southern hemispheres at an amazing pace. Deserts are being transformed into lakes and marinas and major desalination plants are bringing new life to the desert. While water is being diverted onto the land, land is being reclaimed in the Persian Gulf through the formation of various symbolic land masses – the World Islands. We do not know yet what the ecological impact of such significant land transformations will be. Major boulevards that were once a basic trading strip have erupted as a mountain range of towers. So fast is this transition that often foundations are set down well before any design takes place. Urbanisation is occurring in two different dimensions. It grows horizontally as urban sprawl, focused around shopping and transportation as the new, central theme for transformation. Shopping, more than any other cultural enterprise, is the new catalyst that transforms deserts and run-down districts into branded, look-alike fantasy suburbs. The second axis is vertical. No longer do developers reveal the exact height of their proposed tall structures. This closely guarded secret ensures, temporarily, having the tallest building in the world. Often, this has become the organising principle of the built landscape, where unconnected buildings appear side by side without thought to the aesthetic and practical consequences.

The initial race for the sky occurred in Manhattan during the early 20th century, particularly during the 1930s. This has not been matched until recent times where the attention is focused beyond Europe and towards India, through the Middle East and culminating in China. Some of these changes in the world today take place with staggering visions, but without a holistic blueprint, yet have the support of Governments and rulers. Extreme economic forces dictate the mutation of the city. These forces are generating new social conditions which might have something to reveal about alternative ways of living. This will impact on the role of architects and the type of skills that they will need if they are to play a more significant role in this new epic drama, where architecture can be too slow to be relevant. The speed of pace in converting capital into new cities, to capture world attention and the tourist trade often leaves no time to integrate infrastructure and fundamental, responsible services. Traditional master planning starts with these essential components as a fundamental purpose for the cities existence. But nowadays cities need to be flexible and consider alternative solutions for transport, site retention and essential services delivery just to sustain their lifeline.

Architects need to continue responding creatively and meaningfully to the extraordinary speed of this change, instead of allowing ourselves to be sidelined. We need to understand the needs and goals of clients and respond to them with sensitivity, and accountability to the future.


176km/h


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VINCE PIRRELLO

SAFE HAVEN


The meteoric rise of the private airport lounge has transformed down-time for business and leisure travel.


Air travel is still on the increase despite the prediction that technological communication would minimise the need for people to travel and meet face-to-face. The perceived impact that 9/11 would have on traveller confidence and security issues has had little effect, with many more discount airlines entering the market. The once privileged experience of international travel has become common-place; an experience that sometimes we all would rather avoid. The corollary of this is that airlines have created exclusive transit lounges and clubs for their passengers, rewarding them with facilities, special membership and VIP access to a transit oasis. The price is loyalty to the airline. At the advent of air travel, prior to World War II, people thought of the airport terminal building as an essentially temporary structure. However, as the desire to travel began to match the technology of flight, the terminal building became a new transit interchange. This was followed in the 1950s by experimental modern airports built of glass, with solid soaring concrete roofs celebrating flight and mobility, epitomised by Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, 1959, New York.

The Qantas and British Airways Business Lounge at Changi Airport, Singapore, set a global benchmark in 2005, addressing the different needs of travellers (who are not all businessmen in suits) who use the lounge.

Airport design did not make any significant progress until the late twentieth century, when projects such as Chap Lok Kok airport in Hong Kong and Kansai airport in Osaka saw the modern airport develop into a city in itself. Not only was it a sophisticated gateway connecting the passenger with a growing metropolis but at the same time the passage between the city itself and the world beyond. The airport is nowadays a vast multi-facility building with check-in halls, rooms for security and immigration, terminal gates, shopping malls, hotels, office buildings, spaces for containing bulky goods, showrooms and retail and food halls – all linked with the central public transport hub. The original idea of private airport lounge access was simply to cut the journey time through the terminal by giving first-class and business travellers priority. For those who could afford it, a pleasant and hassle-free journey was ensured. It has only been in the last 15 years that the lounge has been recognised as a crucial part of an airline’s brand image and loyalty programme.

Qantas airlines leads the world in creating destination private transit lounges. These are so good that not only do they surpass those of other major airlines, Qantas now brand themselves around the quality of their lounge service and amenities offered. The lounge has now surpassed the terminal as the embodiment of the flying experience, especially now that lengthy processing and security has removed the anticipation and excitement of the flying experience. The Qantas and British Airways Business Lounge at Changi Airport, Singapore, set a global benchmark in 2005, addressing the different needs of travellers (who are not all businessmen in suits) who use the lounge.


So, where are they? Architects spend all of their time photographing new projects devoid of people. When really, it’s all about people.

Where?


Arriving – to establish the calming mood and brand of the airline. A reception area with a welcoming face is needed by the weary traveller that contrasts with the chaotic terminal bustle outside. Relaxing – a choice of environments to relax and facilitate quiet solitude and tranquillity. The designer needs to create a luxurious mood through invitingly furnished spaces, with soft, fully upholstered armchairs; lots of private space; small seating groups; soft lighting and music. Replenishing – to focus on the travellers’ health and well-being. Bathrooms are created in a tranquil setting using natural elements such as water, stone and light as integral to the design, with a similar feel to an up-market spa. Socialising – to create spaces for social interaction such as cafés and bars with a vibrant mood; hard floor surfaces, strong colours and dramatic mood lighting.

The private airport lounge has developed into an integral part of business and leisure travel and is a reflection of the airline brand, vision and strength; a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of the main airport terminal chaos.

Business Centre – to design work spaces where passengers can check their e-mails and the internet and make phone calls. Entertaining – to provide a place where international nomads can network, discuss business opportunities and seek comfort in the fact that they are not the only victims in transit. The private airport lounge has developed into an integral part of business and leisure travel and is a reflection of the airline brand, vision and strength: a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of the main airport terminal chaos.


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LIFE IMITATES ART ROSS DONALDSON


“A system must first be described before it can be understood and then changed. Art provided that description. It thus provided the mental threshold, the window through which economic and social development emerged.� Ross Donaldson


It has ‘become increasingly difficult for architects to generate their own agenda, instead operating as passive recipients of private sector demands in cities shaped by random and chaotic forces’.1 Is there any reason why we should be concerned with this? If, as is usually held, ‘art imitates life’, then as one of the arts, architecture should simply reflect or express the politics of the day’s socioeconomic paradigm – no problem. However, to do this is

fundamentally to miss the point of the significance of the artist to society, the place of culture and, in fact, the critical dependence of social order, and thus economic activity, upon cultural expression. Life imitates art Culture is the means by which a society represents itself to itself. Political boundaries coincide with cultural thresholds. Where the clarity of this alignment is absent, so is political stability. Cultural expression is the means by which a society reproduces itself through time and across generations. This is perhaps easier to see in early societies where the boundaries between social groupings and the cultural thresholds are clearer. In ancient Mesopotamia, the so-called ‘cradle of civilization’, the first cities emerged along with the development of agricultural practices. Civilization is often seen as having been facilitated by the economic activity of agriculture, ending the nomadic life. When archaeologists excavated

The grain stores became the temples embodying the society’s knowledge base, which grew into broader and increasingly rich accounts of the mysteries of life and its origins. Typically during this time the more complex the knowledge and the more elaborate the cultural expression of this knowledge, the larger were the social groups that supported and were supported by it. The first cities in Mesopotamia were made possible through both the complexity of cultural expressions that sustained the society politically and the sophistication of their agricultural production, so that enough food could now be produced for a large sedentary group. As John Kenneth Galbraith put it, ‘These communities that are richest in their artistic tradition are also these that are most progressive in their economic performance and most secure and resilient in their social structure’.

the successive layers of the development of cities, they found that the earliest temples were actually grain stores. Social organisation around the storage of grain was the critical element in the new sedentary social groups. The cultural artefacts found in the early grain stores represented a body of knowledge about the cycles of the seasons, concepts of fertility and general accounts of the natural world, both earthly and celestial. However, these conceptual models not only served to create a stable framework for orderly agricultural activity but also social arrangements and thus the mechanisms for sustaining the stability of the social group. So in early societies, the models for social organisation were drawn from observations and interpretations of natural phenomena. In this way, a kind of conceptual logic, drawn from the natural phenomena outside human beings and represented in art, provided the framework in each society for constructing a new universal order which included people. The rituals enacted to consolidate and reproduce this knowledge from one generation to another eventually evolved into what we would now call religious celebrations.

Cultural development precedes economic development: … life imitates art, no question When people started to reflect consciously on the natural world, their thoughts were manifested in their art, their painting, dance, sculpture, storytelling, song and architecture. This led to the evolution of complex systems of representation of the natural world, including people – what we call culture. A system must first be described before it can be understood and then changed. Art provided that description. It thus provided the mental threshold, the window through which economic and social development emerged. In this sense, in the beginning art precedes, in fact makes possible, economics.

In externalising the understanding of the world, art transforms it, making it possible to reflect, review and act upon the world. It is the medium par excellence for sustained reflection about ourselves and the world in which we live. This is particularly true of modern art. It provides a realm within which speculation and experimentation can take place initially without affecting the world. Morse Peckham in Man’s Rage for Chaos: Biology, Behaviour and the Arts summarises this theme elegantly, ‘Art is a rehearsal for the orientation which makes innovation possible’. There are many examples where art has initiated revolutions in theory, the effect of which has been felt across a broad spectrum of social phenomena. Cubism is a good recent example. John Berger in The White Bird credits Cubism with providing a new framework for the major innovation for modern art, recreating the syntax of art: The proposition that a work of art is a new object and not simply an expression of its subject, the structuring of a picture to admit the coexistence of different modes of space and time, the inclusion in a work of art extraneous objects, the dislocation of forms to reveal movement or change, the combining of hitherto separate and distinct media, the diagrammatic use of appearances… Cubism created the syntax of art so that it could accommodate modern experience.


2

The ability of cubism, in particular cubist collage, to create new meanings through the surprising juxtaposition of fragments previously seen to be unrelated has a correlation in architecture, where Le Corbusier, in particular, experimented with the simultaneous perception of different spatial locations, leading to a radically new strategy for spatial integration. The best account of this revolution is to be found in Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky’s essay, ‘Transparency, Literal and Phenomenal’ in The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa (1987).

3

The cubist discovery of spatial layering, transparency and integration has its equivalence in the intersection of previously unrelated ideas, concepts and theories; and the idea that information and knowledge can cross boundaries through spatial propositions. This idea of simultaneity and the openness of the one space to another was translated into the worlds of education and eventually business management, when open planning was seen as synonymous with an openness to the flow of information and ideas. We are continuing to assess the possibilities and limitations of these ideas.

Thus there is plenty of evidence in this century to support the proposition that art is a window through which social development emerges. For art to perform this critical social role it is clear that it cannot be simply an imitation of nature nor can it be an imitation of itself (style). Art, like the term derived from it, ‘artificial’, stands opposed to nature and the natural, and is distinguished by being the product of human intellectual creativity. It must, therefore, affect some transformation upon the world. The life in art stems from its ability to transform, make new worlds rather than represent existing worlds. The man bent over his guitar, A shearsman of sorts. The day was green. They said, ‘You have a blue guitar. You do not play things as they are.’ The man replied, ‘Things as they are Are changed upon the blue guitar.’ And they said then, ‘But play you must, A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

Cubism created a new grammar for modern art but this knowledge has spread to other fields, including avant-garde music, poetry and, during the 1950s and 1960s, film. These experiments were to become part of mainstream popular culture in more recent times, most obviously in advertising and graphic design. Consumers have come to understand that a rapid juxtaposition of fragmented images can stand for a complete lifestyle; one that you can buy when you buy the product thus advertised. The potential for potent communication has been realised and developed in a wide range of fields well beyond that within which it was invented, painting.

A tune upon the blue guitar Of things exactly as they are. From ‘The Blue Guitar’, Wallace Stevens.

Architecture is not a stylistic pursuit. It is not surface. It is a paradigm through which transformations are enacted upon the world.

Rem Koolhaas, Talk at the Royal Society for Arts, London, Architectural Review 2005. Unité d’habitation (Cité Radieuse) Marseille, France, Le Corbusier 1952 3 Villa Savoye Poissy, France, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret 1929

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Culture is the means by which a society represents itself to itself.


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inclusive workplace JAMES CALDER


As a professional specialising in the design of the workplace, it amazes me how many organisations miss the opportunity for competitive advantage or even value for money when they embark on their next office building or fitout. I think there is a time coming where these poor short-term decisions may actually create considerable harm to businesses providing cheap and uncreative workplaces. This may mortally wound an organisation because they will not sufficiently engage with the workforce and will result in the company’s inability to attract and retain staff. Many of today’s managers are not up to speed with the demographic changes that are occurring. The new generation has much higher expectations than previous ones. They are less loyal and are more likely than ever to head overseas. The mid-career worker wants greater work–life balance and a growing band of older workers will be heading towards retirement. The number of workers available for knowledge-based employment is actually decreasing. We need to create cultures and develop human-resource tactics and workplaces that actively encourage people to stay in work and make them feel included. The inclusive workplace, from the human-resources perspective, is a workplace that is free from discrimination. With a shortage of white-collar employees in most western countries, including Australia, it is time to extend the conception of human resources to include the “place” aspect of the workplace. Providing a workplace that people feel good about can be an inexpensive way of attracting and retaining staff and making them feel included. A recent Gallup survey of over 2,000 American workers shows that of those who feel most included, a whopping 86 per cent “would recommend their company as a place to work to their friends and family.” There is a clear opportunity for companies to think more carefully about using the workplace as a tool to make their employees feel wanted, so they would not think of looking elsewhere and would actually invite their friends to join the company.


How to create an inclusive workplace Creating an inclusive workplace first requires two distinct groups to work together – human resources and property professionals. In reality, this rarely occurs and is likely to happen only when the CEO forces them to. In the highly competitive marketplace it is necessary to distil the organisational values and behaviour carefully, in particular those that are special or unique, and look for ways of physically reinforcing them. A simple example might be the value of “openness and transparency,” which could lead to a predominantly open-plan work environment with meeting rooms with glass fronts and circulation paths that encourage interaction. Similarly, the value of “a good community citizen” could translate to a green building and fitout. On the surface it may appear that such workplaces would create an unnecessary cost burden, and this is at the root of the problem – the property department is generally tasked with reducing costs in the short-term and is unskilled at arguing for capital for longer-term organisational benefit. In reality, however, planning an inclusive workplace in both the two simple cases pictured above would lead to significant productivity benefits that would easily outweigh the costs, and in the case of the green building, would actually reduce operating costs over the medium and long term. A specialist team with design, project management, change management and communication skills is essential. In most cases this will be a combination of internal and external resources. The normal service provided by the industry is simply not capable of delivering the right product for the inclusive workplace, as it mostly is used to catering for the reducing costs. It is sad to see how the latest “low-cost” property model quickly becomes the benchmark for the next wave of projects, relentlessly driving the solution down the wrong path from day one. It is a special person who would lead a project of this nature, usually someone with a human resources background and some interest in workplace design. Too much experience in the property industry is more likely to be a hindrance than a benefit. A new facility management service will be required too, more along the lines of the hospitality industry where the satisfaction of the user is the important aspect rather than lowest cost. Who is doing it? The idea of the inclusive workplace is not new, even if the terminology is. In northern Europe there is a long history of owner-occupier buildings that put the people and culture of the organisation first, as in buildings such as Telenor near Oslo, SAS in Stockholm and ING in Amsterdam. The British have a few examples too, such as Lloyds of London and the British Airways Waterside development.

Australia has a few world-class examples. These include the Campus MLC in North Sydney, Woolworths at Norwest Business Park and the NAB at Melbourne Docklands. A new wave will be completed this year which will include Westpac’s “Our Great Place” in Sydney and Suncorp’s new national workplace roll-out which starts in Brisbane this year. There are also some projects on the drawing board, such as SA Water’s new building in Adelaide. However, when faced with a lease expiry most organisations are ill equipped to develop an inclusive workplace and will miss the opportunity for change. Even worse, they will lock themselves in (for up to ten years) to a workplace solution that could prove dangerous if key people leave and new people cannot be attracted. Ten years is a very long time in business. What are the benefits and how are they measured? Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of General Electric, said it best in 2003: “The best companies now know, without a doubt, where productivity – real and limitless productivity – comes from. It comes from challenged, empowered, excited, rewarded teams of people. It comes from engaging every single mind in the organisation, making everyone part of the action, and allowing everyone to have a voice – a role – in the success of the enterprise. Doing so raises productivity not incrementally, but by multiples.” The inclusive workplace is where each organisation creates a unique place for this productive activity to take place and the benefit is an engaged workforce that is highly productive and won’t want to leave. Whilst your competitor down the road is struggling to hire decent staff, you are producing double-digit profit growths.


There are three types of measurement to consider: cost, added value and strategic measurements. The basic cost measurements such as staff absenteeism and rent per square metre are extremely straightforward. Value-added measurements which look at aspects such as staff engagement and workplace performance are harder to calculate. Harder still are the strategic measures which link people and property to productivity. It is notoriously difficult to find cause and effect measures that are meaningful, and they are often highly specific to a particular organisation, location and time. However, most CEOs I have worked for are not after absolutes, as they know these rarely exist in business – they are after indicators that they are moving in the right direction. The key to providing these indicators is to use the existing values of the organisation and measure the alignment of the workplace with these values. In other words, to use the same measures that human resource departments use but to translate them into the property world. Ultimately, the inclusive workplace is not about higher cost, but a sensible approach to integrating the people and property business aspects that will lead to survival in the war for talent, competitiveness and profitability. Next steps For many organisations it will be impossible to develop an inclusive workplace because they separate the property and human resource divisions. Property groups are usually tasked with proving office space at the lowest feasible cost. If property managers do their job well, they are probably reducing their costs by 5 per cent or so per year. Eventually this leads to massive under performance, but this usually happens slowly so that when management realises it, it is too late and a workplace solution is locked in for a long time. I believe a key next step is for the human resources and property managers to become more aware of the importance of the workplace as a business tool. This is beginning to happen. A leading Australian financial services company has recently created a new organisational group titled “workplace culture and change,” led by a highly successful change manager and comprising a multidisciplinary team of IT, property, human resources and change management expertise. To this end, the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning has just this year established a new postgraduate course on the workplace (looking at offices, education and health), with the aim of bringing together clients (from human resources, property, change managers etc) and designers to provide better business value workplaces. The graduates from this course will be well placed to provide the essential expertise to create the inclusive workplace of the future.


184 185

Out in Public

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PROOF

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Our metamorphosis is a work in progress. And, like all good things it will take time to shake off the baggage of the past. There are already signs, however, that our global tactics are making a real difference to the way we create, collaborate and deliver architecture. Nik Karalis

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APPLIED RESEARCH By necessity, the invention of Public requires that the body of research accumulated be converted into applied science and projects. In the case of Woods Bagot, this means built architecture. As an established practice with 137 years experience, we have an impressive portfolio of past work and a reputation for excellence. Public, however, is not looking back to our past. With Public we intend to transform our business and shake off the shackles of history. You will be happy to know that no one in Woods Bagot is 140 years old. Edward Woods and Walter Harvey Bagot retired some time ago. Instead, Public aims to celebrate the new era of our practice, led by the next generation. The following pages illustrate a collection of finished commissions, works in progress and competitions that highlight (and celebrate) the future of Woods Bagot’s new work, our new world, and our new directions and projects that embody the spirit of Public. Woods Bagot’s invention of Public requires us to convert the corpus of our research into applied science and buildings. Our metamorphosis is a work in progress. And, like all good things it will take time to shake off the baggage of the past. There are already signs, however, that our global tactics are making a real difference to the way we create, collaborate and deliver architecture.

The College of the North Atlantic, Doha, is a benchmark project in cultural relevance. Doha is a deeply religious city that deliberately shuns the indulgences of Dubai. The intricacies of our master plan for the College stem from our analysis of the historical motifs and cities of the Arab world in the Middle East. The texturing and layering on the College façade thus constitute a response to the city’s historical and religious context and to the building as a specifically Muslim college. In Qatar, we have adjusted our master plan for the Science and Technology building currently under construction to allow for an extension of the masterplanned Isozaki axis to culminate on the research incubator building. The new research facilities will link together along this axis in the experiment in locating different scientific facilities together in the same complex. The Southern Cross tower in Melbourne has the largest double skin façade in Australia, comprising over 11,000 square metres of façade oriented due west. This design will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 300,000 tonnes over 10 years.

Numerous competitions taking place in China are forcing developers to adopt new architectural interpretations for a new Chinese architecture. We have recently master planned and designed the proposed Lanterns development in Beijing. In Melbourne Australia, together with our joint venture partners NH Architecture and Larry Oltmanns of Leo O Daly, we have designed a new 5000 seat plenary hall and exhibition centre to give new life to the historical mercantile port that will become the location of the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The World Islands development in Dubai will assist with the demands on density and habitation in a desert location and contribute to understanding land reclamation. New airport terminals in Abu Dhabi and Thessaloniki are improving transport networks for the world. These projects are evidence of our focus on global relevance and the role that architecture can play to provide new solutions, using spatial tactics based on the research from Public and its application.

Projects we are undertaking in both Manchester and Liverpool are challenging the economic and cultural power base of London by offering an alternative commercial hub away from the London central business district. Therefore resolving the tyranny of transport and creating rich mixed-use developments in alternate sites.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Joint Venture Partnership: NH Architecture, Woods Bagot and Larry Oltmanns of Leo O Daly Australia


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Joint Venture Partnership: NH Architecture, Woods Bagot and Larry Oltmanns of Leo O Daly Australia


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Joint Venture Partnership: NH Architecture, Woods Bagot and Larry Oltmanns of Leo O Daly Australia


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Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Joint Venture Partnership: NH Architecture, NH Architects Woods Bagot and Larry Oltmanns of Leo O Daly Australia Woods Bagot

22.SEPT.11AM


Southern Cross Australia


Beijing Olympic Media Village (competition entry) Asia


Ducie Street, Manchester Europe


Thessaloniki Airport Europe


Oqyana – The World Islands Middle East


Qatar Science and Technology Park Middle East


Qatar Science and Technology Park Middle East


College of the North Atlantic, Doha Middle East


UAE University Masterplan Middle East


UAE University Masterplan Middle East


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DESTINY OF THE GLOBE

228 229

The city, often thought to be the most wasteful user of space, will emerge as the new model of sustainability. Nik Karalis


With the arrival of the 21st century, the main concern was a ‘computer virus’ and a change in the planet’s temperature. Luckily the world survived the Y2K ‘computer virus’. The greatest hoax of the 21st century made us spend millions to defend and comply against something that didn’t exist, something invisible. And, as quickly as we got through the transition to a new millennium, a new more menacing issue came to the surface – climate change. Overshadowed by its digital Y2K threat, climate change emerged as one of the biggest issues facing the planet in the 21st century. Ironically, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions have been on our radar for almost 20 years. In the last century, authorities spent most of their time developing methods to assist humans and unmanaged systems of plants and animals in adjusting to the consequences of global warming, rather than deal with the symptoms. Strangely, world events such as 9/11 and the war on terror seemed to distract the world from the bigger issue of our choking planet. While we have made great steps forward in reducing emissions, the issues facing sustainable architecture have increased. As architects and master planners, our role in sustaining the globe, ensuring that future generations can enjoy life and shaping the destiny of the globe, is paramount. It is our firm view that no financial decisions or limitations should cloud decision-making on new developments in the built environment. Sure: they should emit the lowest possible greenhouse gases and be designed to flex as change impacts on the way they are inhabited. Everyone knows this. So why is it you hear ‘the building will cost 20 per cent more to build’ or ‘the market isn’t willing to pay’ and so on?

The time to lead the world to ensure its future is a charter that we are wildly passionate about and accept wholeheartedly. That said, reducing emissions forms only part of our charter on sustainability. The density of the built environment is the real threat that has relevance to our profession. A fusion reaction triggered by urban sprawl growing indiscriminately and exponentially out of control. We should fear our liberties and perceived rights to space. The world’s most precious luxury will be space. The planet is now occupied by more people who can afford to consume more space, produce more waste and demand more resources than ever before. The density equation is a simple one. The total surface area of the planet is finite and the total land area is even further limited. If the trend of current space standards per person against the total area they need to sustain modern lives continues (as in the US), people will occupy more than the current habitable space in a very short time-frame. In fact, we will need two Earths to support current demands. Because of this we need to plan to use space that is not limited to the horizontal plane, but exists upwards and downwards. The way we traditionally measure and calculate our right to space will have to change and be reduced over time. Space will no longer be defined by a gross calculation measured by four co-ordinates on a title. Nett space will be a logarithmic calculation of total accessible space during one’s lifetime. There will be added responsibilities of cities to increase this nett-effect phenomena. What additional areas of a city can the public utilise to enhance their nett space perception?

There are many different ways to divide the Earth’s surface. The limits imposed on human habitation by mountains, deserts and oceans will need to be considered in order to calculate the habitable surface area. The city, often thought to be the most wasteful user of space, will emerge as the new model of sustainability. City-dwellers occupy less area per person and make lower demands on energy as they travel less, use less infrastructure and make the best use of space. New ecologies need to be applied to ensure sustainability and reduced waste. Cities will undergo a refinement due to their success as a mode of inhabitation. Shortly the number of city dwellers will reach 5 billion people. The number of megalopolises exceeding 10 million inhabitants will increase. That’s a lot more cities like Tokyo and fewer like Adis Ababa. When so many people occupy so little space, new forms of habitation will emerge. Architects will have to change their role if they are to be relevant and participate in these wider evolutionary issues by providing housing ranging from subtle, small-scale projects to revolutionary proposals. They will have to make the best possible use of current technological and ecological knowledge and be based on a thorough knowledge of local social patterns and economic limitations. This transformation will only happen if vast amounts of money are made available for research and developing pilot projects. Increasing the scope of the architect, beyond green star compliance to providing criticism and research for local, regional and global applications is the backbone of Public. The new debate is to re-assess just how much energy, land and resources our buildings will consume and what alternatives we can promote before massive consumer expansion dominates.

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Ironically, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions have been on our radar for almost 20 years.


ave made forward emissions, acing architecture sed.

While we have made great steps forward in reducing emissions, the issues facing sustainable architecture have increased.


CONSUMPTION

CO² EMISSIONS RECYCLING

CONSUMPTION

RECYCLING

CO² EMISSIONS

RECYCLING

CO² EMISSIONS

CONSUMPTION

RECYCLING

CONSUMPTION CONSUMPTION

PUBLIC VOICE

RECYCLING RECYCLING

CONSUMPTION

RECYCLING

ECONOMY ECONOMY MATERIALS MATERIALS

ECONOMY MATER

RECYCLING

PUBLIC VOICE PUBLIC VOICE

ECONOMY MATE

RECYCLING

CONSUMPTION

RECYCLING

CONSUMPTION

PUBLIC VOICE PUBLIC VOICE

PUBLIC VOICE DENSITY

DENSITY DENSITY DENSITY DENSITY

DENSITY

SUSTAINABLE PLANET

BIOLOGY

BIOLOGY BIOLOGY BIOLOGY BIOLOGY

DENSITY

BIOLOGY

DENSITY

BIOLOGY

DENSITY

SUSTAINABLE PR

SUST

SUSTAINABLE PRODU

URBANISATION

PUBLIC ACCESS PUBLIC ACCESS

WEATHER PATTERNS

URBANISATION PUBLIC ACCESS

URBANISATION

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT SUSTAINABLE PRO MODERN

WEATHER PATTERNS

WEATHER PATTERNS WEATHER PATTERNS

GLOBAL PICTUREMODERN

WEATHER PATTERNS

URBANISATION

URBANISATION URBANISATION

MODERN

PUBLIC ACCESS

MODERN

GLOBAL PICTURE

GLOBAL PICTURE GLOBAL PICTURE

MODERN


240 241

Talking green acting grey Jula Spilker


It is in everyone’s mouth: the eco trend has kicked in. In some way or another even the least interested people have to engage with this topic. All this is partly due to new regulations and an increased public awareness of the importance of sustainable developments, on both an environmental and a social level. So it’s all fine then? Seems like it. Today if you look up Shell’s website you could mistake it for an environmental protection agency. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) doesn’t stop here: McDonald’s, for instance, decided to teach elderly people to use the internet and to support earthquake victims; IBM supports disabled people and so it continues. However, whilst these companies have started something good they have not changed their core business strategies. Shell is still engaged in selling oil, McDonalds is still partly responsible for obesity and malnutrition and IBM doesn’t employ disabled people in their own organisation (Sywottek, 2004). In terms of CSR it seems that they have missed the point. The intention of CSR was to develop strategies to ensure our social and environmental survival, not to provide corporations with a new marketing opportunity. Even from a business perspective the contrast between the socially responsible efforts of corporations and their business activities can prove to be problematic. Consumers will find it hard to trust a company that offers a human face but only uses it to market its products and increase its customer base. Really good products and services should not need to hide behind such window-dressing. However the big corporations do need to attend to their image. The brand image plays a crucial role in selling products nowadays, at a time where products and services are becoming more and more alike. Exploiting CSR for marketing purposes seems possible only because there are no concrete guidelines and regulations to steer it well away from being nothing more than a tool of commerce.

In terms of CSR it seems that they have missed the point. The intention of CSR was to develop strategies to ensure our social and environmental survival, not to provide corporations with a new marketing opportunity. Copyright in the logos reproduced as part of this article are owned by IBM, Shell and McDonalds.


One company that has got CSR right and has become a leading example for many is Interface. This international carpet manufacturer changed their entire organization around in order to achieve a sustainable and consistent way of working and producing carpets. They prove that CSR is not only essential in order to save the environment but it is also a valuable business proposition. CSR provides a more holistic sense of being and not just for corporations. Anecdotal evidence shows that a similar trend is emerging on an individual level. Over the years people have become increasingly aware about the importance of environmental protection. However, the results of research investigating peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental attitudes and behaviour (Corral-Verduga, 1997; De Oliver, 1999; Stern and Gardner, 1981) show that a mismatch occurs as much here as it does on a corporate level. This makes you wonder where all the motivation and the positive attitudes end up. In the bin? Is recycling our rubbish as far as we are prepared to go in being socially responsible? What about reducing our individual consumption of energy for heating, water and travelling? Although some individuals are trying to do just that the picture remains patchy and does not reflect the clearly positive attitudes that people tend to report. Ajzenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1991) theory of planned behaviour offers an explanation by suggesting that attitudes by themselves are simply not a strong enough predictor of behaviour. Two further key elements have to be considered: subjective norm (what is expected of us by society) and control, both someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perceived and actual control over certain behaviour (what we think we can change and what we can actually change).


It seems that nowadays there are too many barriers that prevent us from following a more environmentally friendly approach. In many ways there are simply not the right facilities available. Not only is it difficult to find the relevant information but once you have found it, what can you do if there isn’t the required infrastructure to support an eco change? Often the information that exists and is available is not very user friendly – you don’t know where to start looking and in the end you don’t know who to trust. It is too time consuming; there are too many different views and therefore making an informed choice becomes very difficult. Furthermore, in most cases ecologically viable alternatives are more expensive than what exists in everyday life and they are not as easily accessible. But this should not be the end of the story! We are living in a time of mass production and consumption and almost everything can be produced in any colour, shape or form. A lot of socially and ecologically sound improvements to our material life have been achieved over the years, but now that we have the ability to do all of that and at an incredible rate, isn’t it time to make products that are worth producing in the first place? The real design challenge should be to create spaces and products that reflect the needs of the society and the environment as a whole – something that is of true value. In order to do that we need to facilitate eco behaviour at all levels – we need true innovation.

Are you up for the challenge? By facing this challenge in all aspects of our lives we have the potential to create safer, healthier, sustainable and more enjoyable spaces and products that will sustain our future. Copyright©2002 Icek Aizen

References: Ajzen, Icek (1991). The Theory of Planned Behaviour in Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211. Corral- Verduga (1997). Dual realities of conservation behaviour: Self-report vs observations of re-use and recycling behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 17, 135-145. De Oliver (1999). Attitudes and inaction: A case study of the manifest demographics of urban water conservation. Environment and Behaviour, 31, 372-394. Stern, P. C. & Gardner, G. T. (1981). Psychological research and energy policy. American Psychologist, 4, 329-342. Sywottek, Christian (2004). Mach’s gut, Brandeins, 10.


248 249

MARK KELLY

DO THE RIGHT THING


sustainability and gn is to enhance peoples’ eir day-to-day existence happens the world will ursuit to reduce carbon ct serious environmental ew role of architecture ngs and cities that rits and engage ation in the tangible mental consciousness. eone else’s problem or generation to resolve. the world from our parents, our children. In my mind hicle – it is a vehicle that ner the more one drives it, does not harm people cle that serves as a base ceiving information, and ally improves one’s health. vehicle is still just a dream. ke to share one of my with you: dreams are to the dream world. By g hard toward one’s dream ome closer to making it ki Watanabe, President, poration) valent of sustainability is g Shui where, if you abide planning principals, usually ection, orientation and put all these components way that people feel ontent in the buildings is not an exact science, re spatial issues with ccess to views that ell-being of the occupant. eat cathedrals, in public ernacular houses. These rmony with the natural eople have made eet the needs: worship, merce, research or shelter. lessons from these d buildings need to be their properties applied buildings. nd to have a deep-seated n just providing space ple. It is this application rpose and essence that background is in science both my parents were gh this discipline of esearch that I interpret uilding types. Architecture and artistic pursuit – he highest art. The art of responding to both nmental influences to nique purpose. ngs like hospitals and re the discipline of an al brain. In these building olerance for mistakes d for hospitals and design usually means ween success and failure.

The purpose of sustainability and environmental design is to enhance peoples’ lives and make their day-to-day existence better. When this happens the world will be united in the pursuit to reduce carbon emissions and effect serious environmental change. It is the new role of architecture to produce buildings and cities that uplift people’s spirits and engage the world’s population in the tangible benefits of environmental consciousness. Currently it’s someone else’s problem or left up to the next generation to resolve. ‘We do not inherit the world from our parents, we borrow it from our children. In my mind I have a dream vehicle – it is a vehicle that makes the air cleaner the more one drives it, a safe vehicle that does not harm people in any way, a vehicle that serves as a base for sending and receiving information, and a vehicle that actually improves one’s health. At present such a vehicle is still just a dream. However, I would like to share one of my favourite sayings with you: dreams are not bound forever to the dream world. By continually working hard toward one’s dream it is possible to come closer to making it a reality.’ (Katsuaki Watanabe, President, Toyota Motor Corporation) The Chinese equivalent of sustainability is the tradition of Feng Shui where, if you abide by certain rational planning principals, usually based on wind direction, orientation and shading, you can put all these components together in such a way that people feel comfortable and content in the buildings they occupy. This is not an exact science, but I think there are spatial issues with natural light and access to views that contribute to the well-being of the occupant. We see it in the great cathedrals, in public buildings and in vernacular houses. These buildings are in harmony with the natural world, although people have made the structure to meet the needs: worship, manufacture commerce, research or shelter. In many ways the lessons from these pre-air-conditioned buildings need to be reinvestigated and their properties applied to contemporary buildings. These buildings tend to have a deep-seated purpose other than just providing space and utility for people. It is this application of fundamental purpose and essence that interests me. My background is in science and medicine, as both my parents were doctors. It is through this discipline of investigation and research that I interpret these traditional building types. Architecture is both a scientific and artistic pursuit – some have said, the highest art. The art is in the ingenuity of responding to both cultural and environmental influences to give buildings a unique purpose. Specialised buildings like hospitals and laboratories require the discipline of an analytical and logical brain. In these building types there is no tolerance for mistakes or ambiguities, and for hospitals and laboratories good design usually means the difference between success and failure.

Here the stakes are high; these building types require a strategy of a rational planning diagram. The diagram needs to get to the core of what takes place in the building. If the diagram is simple and logical so will be the building. There is nothing worse than a building that is complex and difficult to understand, places where one has no sense of the world outside and where people get disoriented. Bad hospitals where people get sick rather than better – you know the type of place. What went wrong in the 1970s? We all know we should avoid these environments unless we are sick, and even then we look for alternative venues. We live in exciting times. Nowadays we have a broad responsibility to create sustainable communities and sustainable environments. This is not just about our building or our project; if we continue to produce new cities at the rate we are, we will need two earths just to sustain the current population. What’s the big picture for the future? It will need to be focused on shared responsibilities and an attitude change to tolerance and resourcefulness – the ultimate responsibility, really. Sustainability starts at the personal level. It starts with the decisions you make, how you use whatever resources you need, backed up with the sense that you can create a building or a piece of architecture or an architectural community that can be very sustainable – so that, to a certain extent there are almost zero emissions or discharges from it. It is now possible for a building to return energy back into the electrical grid. It can collect its own water and process its own waste – so that it does not need or use any additional resources. For this to occur, the world community needs to accept new climatic tolerances. Hermetically sealed environments will enable us to control temperatures despite the outside air quality, to plus or minus one degree. Traditional cultures worked around the sun and avoided the period of intense heat. We may need to learn from this and return to building types that breathe and respond to their context. Of course there will be greater fluctuations in the ambient conditions; this is one of the principal reasons that these solutions have been avoided up till now. The demands on the world’s resources will soon dictate that the developed world reconsider its reluctance to make personal sacrifices and increase its own levels of tolerance within its own specific city and environment. I have lived now in two cities, London and Melbourne, each with their own subtle differences. Both London and Melbourne present differing models for a sustainable city of the future. Each region will need to invent its own model that emanates from local knowledge and research with an input from both politicians and the business community. There will be no one unique solution that fits all. There are architects aiming for zero carbon emission throughout Europe, particularly in cities where the government has intervened and legislated for reform.

Here the stakes are high; t types require a strategy of a diagram. The diagram need core of what takes place in If the diagram is simple and be the building. There is not a building that is complex a understand, places where o of the world outside and wh disoriented. Bad hospitals w sick rather than better – yo of place. What went wrong i all know we should avoid th unless we are sick, and eve for alternative venues. We live in exciting times. No a broad responsibility to cre communities and sustainab This is not just about our b project; if we continue to p cities at the rate we are, we earths just to sustain the cur What’s the big picture for t It will need to be focused o responsibilities and an atti to tolerance and resourcef the ultimate responsibility, Sustainability starts at the p It starts with the decisions how you use whatever resou backed up with the sense t create a building or a piece or an architectural commun be very sustainable – so tha extent there are almost zer or discharges from it. It is n for a building to return energ electrical grid. It can collect and process its own waste not need or use any additio For this to occur, the world needs to accept new clima Hermetically sealed environm us to control temperatures outside air quality, to plus o degree. Traditional cultures the sun and avoided the pe heat. We may need to learn return to building types tha respond to their context. O will be greater fluctuations i conditions; this is one of th reasons that these solution avoided up till now. The de world’s resources will soon the developed world reconsi to make personal sacrifice its own levels of tolerance w specific city and environme I have lived now in two citie and Melbourne, each with t differences. Both London a present differing models for of the future. Each region w its own model that emanat knowledge and research w both politicians and the bus There will be no one unique all. There are architects aimin emission throughout Europ cities where the governmen and legislated for reform.


It is always about the right balance...

© Reader’s Digest ‘Repair Manual’ the complete guide to home maintenance


ness is beginning to es of sustainability if they fits. Overlaid with this is cy in the way that materials There is also a shift in the communities and the r cities. Political leaders ving for a sustainable oes its job, but also realise e it has to be an attractive ndon is very welcoming ons, to researchers, o the people who seek ether make it a very fluence. ve lived in is Melbourne, sustainable community: d work there, they’ve , gardens and sporting t be a better model in g on the river which was y settlement in the first ort system works really s as a key part of the olicy. thing is when the nge comes from within which is my role in challenge our old practices way we do business, not be a sector of the he bedrock across every e foundation for the way uildings and master plans, y materials, the type of and retain. Often the e comes from junior staff he senior ones (certainly e), demand the greening ducate the staff about s is a really powerful e is a whole agenda for anisation, which should ense of well-being in our existence. Young people d sense of responsibility, right thing but to do the onger just about getting g paid, it’s about having e doing something real future value.

Now private business is beginning to appreciate the values of sustainability if they are to maintain profits. Overlaid with this is a sense of efficiency in the way that materials are put together. There is also a shift in the way we interact in communities and the way we design our cities. Political leaders in London are striving for a sustainable community that does its job, but also realise that for it to survive it has to be an attractive place to live in. London is very welcoming to financial institutions, to researchers, to students and to the people who seek asylum – who together make it a very complex global influence. The other city I have lived in is Melbourne, which has a very sustainable community: people can live and work there, they’ve got views of parks, gardens and sporting facilities. It couldn’t be a better model in many ways, sitting on the river which was the reason for early settlement in the first place. The transport system works really well with the trams as a key part of the public transport policy. The really exciting thing is when the leadership for change comes from within the organisation, which is my role in Woods Bagot. To challenge our old practices and change the way we do business, sustainability will not be a sector of the practice, it will be the bedrock across every sector, including the foundation for the way we conceive our buildings and master plans, the way we specify materials, the type of people we attract and retain. Often the demand for change comes from junior staff who outnumber the senior ones (certainly in the Sydney office), demand the greening of the office and educate the staff about choices. For us this is a really powerful combination. There is a whole agenda for change in the organisation, which should give us a greater sense of well-being in our whole day-to-day existence. Young people have a heightened sense of responsibility, not only to do the right thing but to do the best thing. It’s no longer just about getting to work and getting paid, it’s about having a sense that you’re doing something worthwhile and of real future value.

Business will not be relevant if it sticks to the same old ways. To me the value of architecture is not just about insulation and orientation – it is actually about discovering what contribution we can make to the community – how relevant a piece of work is to the well-being of the community and what the outcome of that is for us as a business. You can get all uppity about it – you can get irate and say we shouldn’t be building new buildings any more; we should just be re-using the old buildings and cars are wrong and driving – that’s not right either; save those whales and hug that tree! But that’s only one extreme solution. We have the opportunity and room for improvement, as we need more efficient buildings. We need buildings that stand out and set an example. We need pleasant places to be, places and spaces to admire and be admired. Our future prosperity and satisfaction are there for the making, for our children to inherit not to repair.

Business will not be relevan to the same old ways. To m architecture is not just abou orientation – it is actually ab what contribution we can m community – how relevant a is to the well-being of the c and what the outcome of th a business. You can get all u you can get irate and say w building new buildings any m just be re-using the old buil are wrong and driving – that save those whales and hug that’s only one extreme solu the opportunity and room fo as we need more efficient b need buildings that stand o an example. We need plea to be, places and spaces t and be admired. Our future and satisfaction are there fo for our children to inherit no


SUSTAINABILITY STARTS AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL. IT STARTS WITH THE DECISIONS WE MAKE, HOW YOU USE WHATEVER RESOURCES YOU NEED, BACKED UP WITH THE SENSE THAT YOU CAN CREATE A BUILDING OR A PIECE OF ARCHITECTURE OR AN ARCHITECTURAL COMMUNITY THAT CAN BE VERY SUSTAINABLE.


‘In reality’, she said ‘we ended up moving from 1970s fish bowls, to updated 21st century fish bowls’.

bowls

fish bowls, fish bo


New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New g lovers for wh

New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New g lovers for wh

New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’.

New g lovers for wh


CHANGING LIFE CYCLES

262 263

CH LIF CY

No longer do people follow a predictable life path: to be born; to go to school; to get a job; to have three kids; to watch them grow up; to retire; to buy a Winnebago and finally, to die early. Nik Karalis


XYZ... THE SECTOR DISCUSSION No longer do people follow a predictable life path: to be born; to go to school; to get a job; to have three kids; to watch them grow up; to retire; to buy a Winnebago and finally, to die early. This was the life path of many baby boomers and their parents. Technology and the sheer pace of the world have driven some cultures to get richer, and others to get poorer. And as a result of our change in diet, living and modern medicine, in the developed world people are living longer. Much longer. This means we, as architects, have had to adapt. We need to lead, not just respond. And in some cases, for the sake of humanity, we have sought to provide communities with a break from the rapids by enhancing every experience of their lives. Mixed-use development and urban renewal projects around the world have sought to offer better office accommodation by adding lifestyle amenities including cafes, fashion and cinema. All of this is important in the enrichment of our life between 9 and 5, but it’s not what people now want. Corporate employees have had access to coffee shops for decades. While we like the idea of the café down stairs, the dress shop across the road and the hotel next door, very few of us actually utilise any of it during the day or at night. I had a client who works

for a major bank in Australia tell me about her disappointment of their latest corporate move. The big sell to her and the rest of the staff was the move into a mixed-use community. All the modern marvels of coffee shops, fashion, public transport were available to them. ‘In reality’, she said ‘we ended up moving from 1970s fish bowls, to updated 21st century fish bowls’. The point was, through all of the hype and promise that mixed-use development would deliver, the reality was no-one consulted her and her work environment was essentially the same. The same desk, dumb cables, commercial carpet, computer screen, tiny rabbit-warren offices, all lined up in a row. Sure: she had access to coffee, but really, ‘big deal’ she said. In essence she wanted more. People tout abundant amenity as a cure for making the workplace efficient or better. Hooray for chemists, Kinko’s, post offices and Gloria Jeans, but really, its time to get to the nitty gritty of what people really want. New generations of workers, couples, lovers, children and families are searching for what we call the ‘sweet spot’. This is relatively abstract and it is at the core of the three sectors we specialise in – education, mixeduse, now called lifestyle (more on this later) and workplace. It’s that little place that provides you with happiness and joy; with the time to live your life; with the time to learn and play. It is the sweet spot that enriches people’s lives. And more often than not it is ignored by big picture master planners. People who promise Eden and then deliver (in the case of my client from the bank) corporate hell. All big vision and no detail.

They were so focused on the coffee shops, chemists and architecture that they forgot about the grass, water and trees and forgot about the place that most of us spend most of our working and home lives – inside, our desk. The current architectural focus on the veneer of buildings, whilst impressive visually, contributes very little to the reform of the workplace environment and the quality of our lives. Understanding the new generation of consumer allows for new mixed-usage models. They are aged mid-twenties or early thirties, highly educated, could easily run any corporation, are sought after and in demand, can pick and choose whatever job they want. They are adaptable to technology and have based their whole existence on change. They have been brought up during the most significant technological revolution of the modern era. For them change is a way of life. With nothing to fear they expect something new is always on the horizon. They seek employment with corporations that fit their personal values and quickly pass over antiquated corporations with redundant values. Public focuses on the three sectors that encompass the needs of the next generation. Workplace, education and lifestyle. These are the elements that define the modern life. Somewhere in the overlap (the sweet spot) is where we can satisfy the balance so sought after. Life may occasional lead us away from the centre but we will always be drawn to the sweet spot (balance) in the cycle.


2049 Estimated world population 9,182,201,207 billion

Where are we going?

Life is beautiful

World population 3,862,618,859 billion

1972

World population 6,525,486,603 billion

2006


Technology and the sheer pace of the world have driven some cultures to get richer,

and others to get poorer.


OLD LIVING MODEL NEW LIVING MODEL

Rapid changes in technology, new flexible education systems, and advances in modern medicine have lead to massive changes to the way new/future generations are living their lives. No longer is the linear living model followed by our parents applicable to generation Y. Now more than ever, the boundaries that once kept us close to home and near the family unit have been broken. Ease of global travel and access to anything, at any time, has seen the birth of a new organic living model.

EDUCATION

ENERGY LEVELS

People choose to educate themselves later or at any stage of their lives, work on and off and seek to work to live, not live to work. And, we are retiring much later. In fact some of us may choose never to retire. And, to top it off we are all living longer, much longer. The result of all this is more dynamic culture, greater population density and generally more chaos. As designers we have to be in tune with these changes, understand the forces that cause them and know how to respond to continual future lifestyle changes.

LEAD DEATH

CHOICE

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WORK CULTURE

SLEEP

WORK ARTS

SPORTS

5

THE SWEET SPOT

EDUCATION

AVERAGE PEEK CULTURE 4

TRAVEL

NURTURE CHILDREN CHOICE

RETIRE

DEATH

WORK 3

EDUCATION TRAVEL

DINE

2

EDUCATION WORK 1

HOLIDAY

PLAY BIRTH

Legend: Old Living Model (1950) New Living Model (2000)

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AGE


The architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new paradigm is to build ideas not edifices. Our role is to push, drive, steer and push some more until the new idea emerges.

The architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new paradigm Our role not is toedifices. push, drive, steer and push is to build ideas some more until the new idea emerges. Through our collaborations and interactions we will leverage opportunities and commissions to provide stable political and economic world architecture with Public at the centre of evolutionary change.


We have been pioneering cross-disciplinary thinking to broaden architectural practice and create new paradigms for it.


3 HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

S TTER

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One of the first principles of our architectural process is to assemble teams of consultants who can all improve our work. Nik Karalis


When the concept of architect as hero died in late 1980s and early 1990s the way was prepared for a new generation of collaborative architects. You may think that the non collaborative ‘architect as master of all’ is something that only older generations of architects are still hanging on to but this approach is not restricted to older architects: it is an attitude independent of age. Many of our younger peers still take briefs as architects and find the art of collaborating excruciating. You know the type: ‘Copy everything to me; don’t speak to the client; it’s my job not yours; it won’t go ahead because I didn’t invent it’. Thankfully no-one like this is working in Woods Bagot. One of the first principles of our architectural process is to assemble teams of consultants who can all improve our work. We have been pioneering cross-disciplinary thinking to broaden architectural practice and create new paradigms for it. We are happy if the big idea comes from the landscape architect, the master plan from the graphic designer and the architecture from the interior designer. Big ideas for the client can come from the most intriguing and unexpected places and communities receive the benefit of the melting pot of creativity. The point is about capturing the moment: capturing ideas that can effect change, then utilising the resources of the architect to transform the idea into reality. The architect’s new paradigm is to build ideas not edifices. Our role is to push, drive, steer and push some more until the new idea emerges.

And sometimes this comes from outside our walls. With this fundamental philosophy in place we comb the globe to pioneer new ideas with the best creative talent in the world, in and outside Woods Bagot. Public’s role in this philosophy is to capture the spontaneity of its allies together with the competitiveness of regionalism to transform programmes and overwhelm the targets of our clients. In this optimistic and productive interpretive process architecture, urbanism and client drivers can become devices for development opportunities, not previously conceivable with a singular authoritative protectionist. Collaboration demands a new communication that is direct and demystified and easily transferable to client and social issues. While we can be sceptical of society’s ability to adopt new ideas we can also be surprised at how quickly digestible reform can be incorporated into everyday behaviour, especially if it simplifies and enhances our lives. Through Woods Bagot’s decision to be international and welcome allies we will be able to sustain our global relevance. Through our collaborations and interactions we will leverage opportunities and commissions to provide stable political and economic world architecture with Public at the centre of evolutionary change.

We are happy if the big idea comes from the landscape architect, the master plan from the graphic designer and the architecture from the interior designer.


Big ideas for the client can come from the most intriguing and unexpected places and communities receive the benefit of the melting pot of creativity.


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DR SANDRA KAJI-O'GRADY UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY

ARCHITECTURAL MODELS, LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY


Many critics have noted that artists the world over are energetically blurring the boundaries between art and architecture. Some of this work is at an architectural scale using architectural materials (Alice Aycock, Dan Graham, Kawamata) or entails the practice of both professions (Vito Acconci, Andrea Zittel, Jorge Pardo, Richard Goodwin). Other artists address construct replicas of buildings to explore their role in making personal and cultural identities (Michael Landy, Do-Ho Suh).1 The greatest challenge to disciplinary boundaries, however, is posed when artists engage with architecture’s historical canon, its theoretical discourse and, most significantly, its theories and models. Such work is interesting less as a hybrid production or a mining of strategies and references, than as a platform for examining age-old debates around the real and the virtual truth and mimicry, use and representation. These debates trouble both disciplines and seem especially problematic in a digital age. The drawing and the model occupy what in a Platonic schema is the third and inferior order of practice – ‘mimesis’. Plato argues that the artist creates an image of reality but that this image is itself unreal. A faithful copy would be redundant, but an unfaithful copy would be a lie. Art deforms, simulates, deceives and flatters. Plato privileges use and manufacture. For him, art is inferior compared with philosophy and technology. When architects undertake the range of activities for designing and procuring buildings – such as drawing, thinking and selecting materials – they swing promiscuously between art, philosophy and technology. Of course, the Platonic schema has been cogently critiqued in both art and philosophy. The philosopher Jacques Derrida, for example, has argued that producing multiple representations that have no foundation or truth is the primary attraction of art – its value not its flaw – since it forces us to reconsider where and how borders and origins are constituted and concealed.

01

But architects despite the efforts of Eisenman and others to play with the relationship between use and representation, and at odds with the fetishising of architectural photography, display a residual suspicion of architectural representation, viewing it as a method that somehow interferes with or distorts our ability to get at the material and experiential truth of a building.

I too am fascinated by this use of architectural models in contemporary art, but I am wary of reducing the Gulliver effect to the attraction of miniaturization. In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels of 1726, Lemeuel Gulliver, the hapless ship’s captain and surgeon, is both shipwrecked on Lilliput, where everything is one-twelfth its size, and abandoned in Brobdingnag, where the inhabitants are 12 times larger than life. It is not, however, a novel about scale, but about the potential for things to be other than they are, or other than they have previously appeared. Itself a novel that was thought to be a true account of events, it opens gaps between preconceived ideas and sensible form. Miniaturization is only one of a number of formal strategies with which to question representation and truth within and through architectural discourse – that is, to question the model in both the literal and metaphorical sense. By using architectural models, artists hone in on an area of architectural practice vulnerable to accusations of ‘artistry’. Two examples, both employing the architecture of Mies van der Rohe, serve to demonstrate this point: Callum Morton’s International Style Compound, 2000–2001; and James Angus’ Lakeshore Drive Mobius Loop, 2001. I have chosen these Australian artists, not out of patriotism, but because they engage most intensely with the modernist canon of architectural models.

Artwork images courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 01 James Angus Truck Corridor, 2004 (Installation view, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney) Steel, glass, rubber, fibreglass, aluminium, vinyl – 3900x2500x11950 cm 02 James Angus Rhinoceros, 1995 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; Collection of Art Gallery of South Australia Synthetic polymer paint on fibreglass, aluminium – 110x320x70 cm

Such ambivalence towards the illusory persuasiveness of models and drawings has led architects to reduce them to their instrumental value, that is, to being mere intermediaries through which something else – the building – is accomplished or communicated. The model, in particular, is commonly viewed by architects as a medium that accurately and accessibly represents design intentions to clients and the public – seemingly in denial of its diminutive proportions, non-building materials and capacity to be picked up and inspected from all angles. As Jean-Louis Cohen has written, ‘Unlike drawings, models allow one to get away from the geometric projections or fixed perspectival views, which are sometimes difficult to grasp’.2 Cohen believes that the visual codes that are involved in models are familiar to the broadest public because they are continuous with those offered by games and toys; what he calls the ‘Gulliver effect’. It is this effect that Cohen identifies as the key attraction of architectural models for contemporary artists. He writes:

International Style Compound, at the scale of 1:20, is one of numerous architectural models by Morton of buildings of different eras, made unfamiliar by duplication or the inclusion of a sound track and lights. In one of the compound’s four identical Farnsworth Houses, a soundtrack of a party ending with gunshots and screams endlessly loops. Not only is the uniqueness of the Farnsworth House subverted by repeating it in the suburban street, the original transparency of the Farnsworth House is obscured with curtains (similar to those subsequently installed by Edith Farnsworth) from which we see illuminated coloured light, but not the interiors. The use of sound emphasises the theatrical aspect of the work, suggesting human presence in the house and situating the viewer as voyeur.

In contemporary art exhibitions on both sides of the Atlantic it is striking to see the diversity of the meanings ascribed to models, which are used to depict impossible architectural edifices, to condense visual strategies, or to convey intimate landscapes in three dimensions. The temptation of the miniature seems to have gripped quite broad circles of artists, finally making the strictly functionalised models used in architectural communication appear extremely dull.3 Cohen gives as an example Anne and Patrick Poirier’s models of imaginary ruined and future cities, but there are many more. American Helen Cohen builds tiny, realistic rooms inside a variety of objects, including portable recordplayers, old-fashioned hairdriers and kitchen appliances and accompanies these with sound. British artist Matt Collishaw (better known as Tracey Emin’s ex-boyfriend and for his Lego constructions) has also combined video with models. Onto a model of a quaint English town, Collishaw projects images of brawling hooligans outside a pub, who subsequently torch a car and stagger off into the night, singing drunkenly. Working from documentary photographs, German artist Thomas Demand creates accurate cardboard scale models of historically or personally important spaces, including Hitler’s office after an unsuccessful assassination attempt, the desk where Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote the book Dianetics and the entrance to his own apartment building. Demand then lights and photographs his models, blurring the distinction between fabrication and reality.

02


BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES. DIGITAL AGE. PLATONIST SCHEMA. MIMESIS. VISUAL CODES. IMAGINARY RUINE AND FUTURE CITIES. LEGO CONSTRUCTIONS. ARCHITECTURAL MODELS. LILLIPUT. MIES VAN DER ROHE. SCALES. REAL AND VIRTUAL. RED HERRING. HYBRID. AUDIENCE.

BLU BOU PLA MIM IMA AND LEG ARC LIL ROH VIR HYB


The liberties taken by Angus with Mies’ Lakeshore Drive (appropriately held in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago) apartment building are physical. He has bent it like a banana, using computer-aided design software to calculate its new dimensions precisely. Are these works a critique of Mies, or of modernist design, or of contemporary architecture, or all of these? To answer this we need to look at the artists’ other works.

scales, and they are not always of architectural objects – his oeuvre includes Manta Ray (2002), a life-size, white hydrocal model of a manta ray and, also life size, a fluorescent yellow rhinoceros in 1996. His Soccerball Dropped from 35,000 feet (1999) is cast in aluminium from digital calculations by a physicist, at the moment of impact, imperceptible to the human eye. He has done other scale models of buildings, such as the Palazzo Della Civilita Italiana which has also been bent. Both Angus and Morton are interested in the gap between what is real and virtual, what we see and what we know to be true, as attested by Angus’ Truck Corridor of 2004, a life-size replica of a Mack truck parked in the impossibly small space of the contemporary project space at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The models in the work of Morton and Angus adopt the conventions of architectural practice – precise proportional scaling and abstraction achieved by a narrow palette and generalised form. But they depart from the relationship these models conventionally have with real buildings, on the one hand, and their audience, on the other. They do not communicate design propositions to clients. Their destination and critical context are the gallery and art audience. Neither artist has worked consistently with miniaturisation – Morton’s models of generic structures such as balconies and doorways seamlessly installed in gallery spaces were at a three-quarter scale – more minigolf than Lilliput. Morton uses a range of non-architectural scales decided by historical details particular to the subject – 1:18 for the model of Cook’s Cottage in the work Cottage Industry: Bawdy Nights (1999) and 1:34 for Gas and Fuel (2002). Angus also makes models and replicas in a range of

The consistently and openly architectural subject matter and strategies in Morton’s work are invariably attributed by critics to his biography.4 Morton was born in Canada while his architect father was working with Moshe Safdie on the mass housing project, Habitat, and on the very day that Le Corbusier died. He undertook two years of architectural studies at university before switching to painting. Following a series of generic architectural elements in site-specific installations at life or three-quarter scale, he produced a series of models of recognizable buildings – the United Nations tower in New York, the Farnsworth House, Casa Malaparte, Le Corbusier’s cabin at Cap Martin, the Habitat housing complex in Montreal by Moshe Safdie. These models are accompanied by soundtracks that veer from serious critique to one-line jokes. Cabanon and On and On (2002), the model of Corb’s cabin, has the sound of a heartbeat proceeding to cardiac arrest. Untitled (2003), a model of the United Nations headquarters in New York is accompanied by a soundtrack of children playing war games – a too easy jibe at the juvenile rivalry that drives global politics. Habitat (2003) is more successful. It conveys a sense of duration – compressing the life of the complex to the temporal equivalent of 1:50 scale: a 28-minute sequence of changing lights and sounds. The building comes alive with the sounds of morning alarm clocks, arguing couples, babies crying and dogs barking, the flicker of television, a guy masturbating – pitching conflict and tedium against the 1960s utopian dream of community living.

03

Morton’s most recent work has used digital modelling to create images of famous modernist buildings converted with lurid signage and colour for commercial interests – the Schroder house in Utrecht into a Toys’R’Us shop, the Casa Malaparte into a Spizzico restaurant, Philip Johnson’s Glass House manifest as a service station, the Farnsworth House in Illinois into a 7/11 store. As Australia’s representative at the 11th Indian Triennale in 2004, he showed works of Le Corbusier’s designs for Chandigarh transformed for a new commercial use. Titled Tommorowland, Morton merges Chandigarh with aspects of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film Westworld to arrive

at images of a blighted and uninhabited landscape. Of this, the Australian Commissioner and exhibition curator, Stuart Koop comments that Morton ‘grew up with a large photo of the interior of Le Corbusier’s Palace of Assembly in his house as a kid, which may account for his ambivalence toward its idealism’.5 To discern a potential Oedipal drama, of the works of Morton specifically, or more generally, of the relationship between the art of one generation and the modernist architecture of another, is a red herring. In Morton’s most recent work, while the famous modernist buildings are still evident, they are presented in the mode of contemporary urban commercial icons, using digital images that mimic the lurid presentation techniques of the clumsiest of this genre. This suggests that Morton’s targets are not historical. The same would also be the case for Angus, whose Miesian tower is subjected to one of the favoured geometries of contemporary digital architecture – the möbius loop. I argue that this work is not merely a hybrid of architecture and art, nor is it simply a critique of architecture through art. Rather, it engages with a broader argument around the autonomy of the arts and, in particular, the art-historical debate around modernism and audience. This debate is centred on Michael Fried’s ‘Art and Objecthood’ in which he defines the relationship between artwork and audience as either theatrical or anti-theatrical.6 Theatricality, for Fried, is that impulse in art that denies the separation between artwork and audience and thus compromises the uniqueness of art as a domain separate from other cultural spheres. To put it simply, Fried favoured work that ‘treated the beholder as if he were not there’, work that he calls anti-theatrical.7 The Minimalist sculpture he rejects as theatrical includes or implies an audience, indeed, is incomplete without one. Minimalist sculptures by Morris and Judd make viewers more aware of their own location and movement, frequently by using a scale that confronts the body as an equal. Their scale requires viewing from a distance that ‘makes the beholder a subject and the piece in question an object’.8 Morris made sculptures that were obtrusive, confronting and got in the way of the viewer. Morris and other minimalists were also attempting to make artworks that required the duration of experience, that were not wholly manifest in single moment. In this they departed from what Fried valued as the simultaneousness or perpetual present of modernist art.

03 Callum Morton Belvedere, 1995 Mixed media – Dimensions variable 04 James Angus Soccerball dropped from 35,000 feet, 1999 Plaster – 20x22x22 cm

Fried attempts to maintain the legitimacy of art’s autonomy and guard high modernism from theatricality. He was of the opinion that art degenerates as it approaches the condition of theatre.9 He also believed that what lies between the arts theatre and that theatre, or literalness was the most pervasive mode of being or sensibility. He concluded his ‘Art and Objecthood’ essay with the lines, ‘We are all literalists most or all of our lives. Presentness is grace’.10 Art is that which releases us from the literal and theatrical ordinariness of daily life. Or does it? Returning to the earlier discussion around truth and mimicry, what is at stake in modernism’s battle against theatricality, as Brockelman notes, is the authenticity of seeing itself. Is beholding to allow real knowledge of the object, or must it condemn the viewer to a perpetual gaze at himself… Modernism’s battle against theatre spearheads a struggle to see the world as it really is.11 While, Fried does not discuss architecture in this essay, it can be assumed that architecture can only aspire to but never achieve the condition of modernism/anti-theatricality, since it suffers from literalness, from its assumption of an audience and its temporal duration. Fried’s essay responded specifically to the art of the period, and its flaws and paradoxes have been pulled apart by critics ever since, yet, as Brockelman notes, ‘no other definition of aesthetic Modernism has proven as compelling as Michael Fried’s notion of a ‘war against theatre.’ Brockelman further observes that recent years have seen the multiplication of works that are not simply anti-theatrical, but participate in existing genres while containing a subversive element. He writes, ‘The arts, following the lead of architecture, have begun experimentation with an anti-theatrical theatricality unforeseen in Micheal Fried’s battle’. This anti-theatrical theatricality is perfectly captured by artists’ architectural models, with their uncomfortable collision of ordinary life and modernist formal perfection, what Morton has called ‘faction’. They are objects in their own right at the same time as they are miniatures of the real world. More critically, the audience needed for their architectural completion is forever absent, a world of Lilliputians, while we, the gallery audience, stand outside: giant voyeurs. As Morton writes, ‘my works are fake non-site from the urban world; fake in that they are reconstructions of things in the world, not direct cuts’.12 This work is not so much a critique of architecture as it is a critical engagement with the philosophical foundations upon which architecture achieves its grounding in use, and art as its problematic relationship to the real.

1

Michael Landy’s ‘Semi-Detached’, installed in the Tate Britain in 2004 consists of life-size replicas of the rear and front elevations of the Landy family home in Essex, between which are projected images showing aspects of interior life. Do-Ho Suh produced a full-scale nylon replica of his New York apartment for The Perfect Home at the Maupin Gallery, New York in 2003. In 1999 Suh made a replica of his parent’s traditional Korean house out of pale green silk, ‘Seoul Home’. The Korean house was itself already a replica, built by his father, of the civilian-style residence built by the king of Korea in the early 19th century so that he could experience the life of ordinary people.

2

Jean-Louis Cohen, ‘Models and the Exhibition of Architecture’, in The Art of Architecture Exhibitions, ed. Kristin Feireiss, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam, 2001, p. 30.

3

Jean-Louis Cohen, ‘Models and the Exhibition of Architecture’, in The Art of Architecture Exhibitions, ed. Kristin Feireiss, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam, 2001, p. 32.

4

See Stuart Koop, ‘The Story of Architecture’, in Callum Morton: More Talk about Buildings and Mood, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2004. In this essay Koop proposes understanding Morton’s work as ‘an Oedipal drama; as an avant-garde succession; and as a generation gap’.

5

Australia Council Media Release, ‘Callum Morton parks new work at 11th Indian Triennale’, 26 July 2004. Available online at http:// www.ozco.gov.au/news_and_hot_topics/media_releases/callum_ morton_parks_new_work_at_11th_indian_triennale/

6

Michael Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’, in Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998, pp. 148–172, originally published in Artforum, no. 5, June 1967, pp. 12–23 and reprinted in Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology, ed. Gregory Battcock, New York, 1968.

7

Michael Fried, Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1980, p. 5.

8

Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’, p. 159.

9

Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’, p. 164.

10

Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’, p. 168.

11

Thomas Brockelman, ‘Modernism and Theatricality’, Art Criticism, vol.8, no. 1, p. 55.

12

Max Delany, ‘An Interview with Callum Morton’, LIKE Art Magazine, no. 10, pp. 21–5

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IMAGE TO BE PLACED (Steven Cornwell)

Global Brand Leadership Steven Cornwell

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PROLOGUE In creating Public, Nik Karalis (Design Director of Woods Bagot) and I have been busily working at re-positioning Woods Bagot as a global thought leader across the markets and regions in which it operates. One of the great surprises in developing Public was that not only were the directors receptive to change, but, so too were the 420 staff who make up this dynamic and truly agile brand. As one of the greatest Australian exports of architecture, most of our efforts have been centered around shaking off Woods Bagotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage (that includes some of its Australian-ness) and shifting its reputation to that of a truly global brand. This document, and the Public concept, is just one of many initiatives that have been established to ensure that Woods Bagot is continually engaged in maintaining brand leadership. Engaging Woods Bagot in a self revelation process has reinvigorated the brand and provided the directors with clarity of vision, passion for their goals and in return provided the staff with a clear picture of the future. This hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happened without a little pain. Being a brand leader requires facing some tough, essential truths about who you are. Filling in the gaps between what you thought you were and how you are actually perceived means facing some difficult challenges and taking managed risks in the pursuit of global relevance. In the 12 months we have worked together, our primary role has been to hold up the mirror, assist them in seeing who they were, aligning the leadersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vision and guiding them to their desired positioning. Whilst architecture is unique in the professional services market, the lessons learned along the way apply to any brand.


Lesson 01 Establish a clear vision

Lesson 02 Branding is not marketing

Lesson 03 Research isn’t the strategy

Lesson 04 Logos tell the truth

In the chaotic world of globalisation, marketers and CEO’s have deemed that the “being global and acting local” strategy will ensure their success in markets foreign to that of the organisation’s origin. It is a truism that in professional services it is about the business of doing business with “people” that has perpetuated the urban myth of this globally embraced strategy. Using Global IP and putting locals on the ground has to work, right? Wrong. Well, wrong in part. As visionary and engaging a CEO or business leader you might be, satellite offices which are not engaged or aligned to company brand vision quickly adopt their own “local” philosophy. The end result is they usually end up with a brand that bares little resemblance to that of the parent. For a global strategy to work you need the best people. This is a logic everyone in business understands. The best people by their very nature are (and need to be) entrepreneurial. As they become more successful in their region, they begin to develop their own unique perception of their own future. Their own local vision. The higher the perceived value of this local vision (usually spurred on by local success), the stronger the desire to achieve it. As they employ local staff, establish local networks and develop local clients, the perceived need to stay attached to the parent becomes less and less. For any global business, the real risk to the brand arises when it finally wins a global contract and clients engage with many parts of the organisation. The experience is often disjointed and in most cases is a disappointment. Problems also arise when relocating staff from one continent to another. The expectation gap alone means great staff are often disillusioned. Brands that begin to break in this way, if left unmanaged, suffer slow and painful deaths.

This is one of the greatest challenges facing most corporations in building their brand. Branding is not marketing. The brand strategy informs marketing, but it is not marketing. Management consultants shape brands, brand consultants articulate them and graphic designers pretend to be interested in branding to build themselves design projects. Indeed, all of these consultants contribute to a brand’s wellbeing. But the ongoing management of a brand’s reputation requires a bible from which all consultants can perform. Great brands know how to market, how to engage and inspire staff, how to research, advertise and communicate. In fact all five senses need to be suitably engaged to deliver a sustainable brand position. Many of my clients have learned this the hard way, but here is the tip, don’t let a PR consultant, performance/HR consultant or advertising agency drive your brand from a task-oriented project like an ad campaign or brochure. You might get a short-term spike in performance but long-term your brand will be in the hands of customer whim. To be in control of your brand’s destiny you need a long-term view. A view that aligns your vision and brand strategy with current market conditions. A brand strategy, not a marketing campaign. Don’t confuse the two. Your customers will see the difference. Which brings me to my next point – know your customer and have more freedom to create.

Just the word alone sends shivers down my spine. Too many organisations drive their strategy from customer feedback alone. I am probably alone on this point but I have seen too many great ideas hit the cemetery before they had a chance to live. It is true that customers know you better than you know yourself. They are seeing you at face value. And they often have ideas about your market long before you do. Day in, day out they are making transactions with your brand. Their informed opinion of who you are can deliver some fairly sobering truths about your brand that you weren’t aware of. That said, new products, innovations and great strategy have inherent risks. Any customer you research will give all the reasons as to why you shouldn’t push the button on the new, somewhat foreign strategy. If you know who you are, you have assessed the risks and made sure that in your heart and soul you know what is best for the customer, then do it. How many customers would have endorsed diesel fuel over unleaded fuel ten years ago? With a promise of less power, less accessibility, but cleaner and cheaper surely this would research well? The overwhelming choice would have no doubt been unleaded. With oil prices at an all time high today we can’t wait to trade our unleaded cars for a diesel. While marketers, engineers and CEO’s of some of the biggest technology companies were debating the merits of MP3 music (which probably didn’t research that well either), Mac had sold close to 1 billion songs on I-tunes and had grabbed market leadership on portable MP3 players worldwide with IPOD. Whilst I am speculating, my point is that, innovation doesn’t research well. Safe decisions will place brands squarely in middle market territory. The truth is, brand leaders listen to customers, assess the risks and make the unpopular decision to go ahead anyway.

On a recent trip to London I read an article in The Guardian by design commentator and writer Stephen Bayley. The article was a scathing attack on poorly conceived logos and misguided identity throughout Europe. And he wasn’t holding back. His argument was that “logos” are “deadly accurate indicators of an organisation’s intelligence and inherent vitality.” He went on to dismantle the likes of BP, the biggest miscommunication attempt of the 21st century, and Tesco, a dull, ill-conceived identity that was still trading itself as cheap. As irrationally subjective as the whole article was, his point was that logos tell the truth and are “devastatingly effective communications”, good or bad. Corporations without vision usually end up with these misguided, banal, style driven identities with only few exceptions like BP, which, for all of its contemporary style, continues to burn fossil fuels, pollute the earth and trade as “Beyond” Petroleum. Surely, in an age of sustainability and, in an effort to stop our planet from choking, fundamental lies like BP’s name and identity can’t survive? Logos tell the truth and customers see through those that exaggerate it.

Whether you are five offices in one region (such as Australia) or 40 offices around the world, the first step in creating a global brand is establishing a clear vision. Vision that can be owned and understood by customers. Vision that can ignite individual desire and inspire staff. Achievable vision that can be measured, shared and achieved. Vision that can be agreed by the organisation’s leadership team and act as their guiding purpose. It is these types of organisations that act global, think global and deliver locally with a clear vision that surpasses that of the pretend – global business. The demands of the individual regions, the passions of the individuals and their perceptions of their own future often clouds the clear and aspirational skies of the brand’s potential. So, if I haven’t made it abundantly clear – a clear articulated vision is the starting point for any brand.


AS BRANDS ARE PRESSED UPON BY COMMUNITIES AND MARKET FORCES DICTATE A CERTAIN LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE, ONLY THE BRANDS WILLING TO LEAD WILL SUSTAIN THE GLOBE’S CHAOTIC GENERATIONAL CHANGES.


Lesson 05 Sustainability is not a marketing angle

Lesson 06 Bellyvision. Death of the newsletter

I guess the greens (and the greenies) finally got through to governments. Yes, we are choking the planet. In the last five years, the sustainability agenda has heightened and moved beyond its recycle roots to its more holistic energy agenda. The simple definition of sustainability is the pursuit of balancing energy. Energy in must equal energy out. A simple equation made more difficult by the escalated cost of making this equilibrium possible. Why we let money get in the way of these issues is still a mystery. Kevin Schellenbach is an architectural commentator whose pod cast ‘Architecture talk’ provides some startling statistics. Buildings in high density areas (that’s architecture in the cities and decentralised centres) account for between 40-50% of all energy use and waste in the USA. Assuming this percentage is the same throughout the world our burgeoning cities account for approximately half of the world’s energy use, and waste. What was once thought of as an issue for oil refineries and manufacturers of plastics is now an issue for any corporation (and/or brand) that resides in or sells its product in our urban centres. But, there is an alarming trend emerging that I fondly refer to as “sustainability fraud”. That may seem a little harsh but I have witnessed many organisations doing the minimum and claiming the maximum. Sustainability is not marketing. It is not a protocol used to obtain competitive advantage. It is every brand’s responsibility to ensure the planet is in good health for future generations to enjoy. Corporations need to stop marketing sustainability and start delivering it.

One of the pillars of brand strategy is marketing and communications. Spreading the vision is as important as creating it. A poorly implemented brand strategy, no matter how genius would have been in vain if it is not disseminated with impact to the people that matter – staff and customers. This is where the marketing strategist, advertising agency and public relations consultant enter the picture. Their role is to build the channels through which the brand experience comes to life. As much as we brand strategists would like to think we can control the experience from end to end, advertising agencies are equipped to broadcast a brand’s message through the various and exhaustive mediums. But here is the hitch. Corporations and brands now have access to an alarming number of mediums through which to communicate with customers. From websites and associated pod casting, blogging etc, to the more traditional above-the-line mediums of TV, press and print, to the broad variety of ambient and diversified marketing channels. All that choice and I still get a mind-numbing volume of A4 newsletters in the mail. Window faced, crappy junk mail in all of its various disguises. Invariably I throw it in the bin. The difficulty with all of this choice is brought about by a new generation of media savvy consumers whose thirst for information delivery is far more demanding. They don’t have time to sit and read endless wads of A4 junk mail. And, they expect you will find them, rather than pop them in the broad net of mass above-the-line media like TV and billboards. It astounds me that with the variety of choices corporations have, these types of media still exist. That said, if you haven’t got anything meaningful to say, don’t jump on line and pod cast a wad of dribble. A couple of pod casts I recently downloaded on marketing left me a little disheartened. The technology is now so accessible that people with very few ideas, or limited intelligence were able to pod cast. Worse still, whilst they had little or nothing to say, I still downloaded it.

A corporation can expect to pay approximately 20% more initially when moving its head office or fitting out its retail store to obtain a sustainable, green building. In doing so it will reduce emissions and provide staff and the community with cleaner, healthier and cheaper buildings to maintain. However, in a world where CEO’s are pressured by stakeholders to deliver profits year in year out, government terms are only four years long, and the community isn’t quite up to speed on the sustainability debate, bottom line decisions seem to be the biggest barrier to activating sustainability projects. Corporations that market sustainability, even though they are only delivering the minimum are fraudulently misleading customers as to their “green” achievements and taking all of the positive reputation gains that come with such marketing. Brand leaders spend most of their time developing and implementing their sustainability policy, rather than marketing it. These corporations actually care about the state of the planet. Brand leaders have a long term view and will ultimately get rewarded for their long term thinking with solid brand loyalty.

Brand leaders invent new ways of marketing and tap into innovative communication far quicker than their competitors. They know their customers and they push advertisers to find new ways of getting their message heard. As mentioned earlier, I was in London recently and read an article on a pioneering new media technique called Bellyvision. The simple premise of Bellyvision is to hire a bunch of beautiful models (male and female) to come to your event or store and walk around scantily clothed with your message or logo body painted onto their torso. They just sit around with your message on them – half naked. If a Bellyvision model was sent in place of the A4 newsletter I would probably think twice about throwing it away. The point is newsletters are dead, Bellyvision is now the benchmark.

Brand leaders have … As brands are pressed upon by communities and market forces dictate a certain level of performance, only the brands willing to lead will sustain the globe’s chaotic generational changes. Brand leaders have vision, brand leaders know who they are, brand leaders have an identity that communicates, brand leaders accept their role in saving the planet and, brand leaders know how to communicate in a way that surprises and touches customers in an intelligent and pervasive way. Steven Cornwell CEO, Cornwell Design Pty Ltd.


Here I am

Hier bin ich


Copyright © Woods Bagot Pty Ltd ABN 41 007 762 174 All Rights Reserved. No material may be reproduced without prior permission. While we have tried to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the Publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance in information in this publication. Any opinions in this publication are solely those of the named author of the article in which they appear. Unless named as author, the Publisher, Editorial Panel, other Contributors and Woods Bagot do not endorse any such views and disclaim all liability arising from their publication.

Published by WB Research Press Podium Level 1, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank Melbourne VIC 3000

Editorial Team: Nik Karalis, Steven Cornwell, Ross Donaldson, David Tregoning, Lucy Moloney, Carole Pearce

Printed in Melbourne, Australia 2006 ISBN 0-9775409-3-6

Creative Direction & Design: Cornwell Design Steven Cornwell Olivier Kowald


Here I am

Public #1: Spatial Tactics  

Spatial Tactics is the first in Woods Bagot’s Public book series. Public was established in 2006 to bring a formal focus to our applied and...

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