For the first time since 1999, the biennial Australasian Student Architecture Congress (ASAC) will be heading to Sydney this July 2017! Starting off in the 1960s as a series of informal mass gatherings of architecture students, ASAC has since become more established, visiting cities around Australia, New Zealand and PNG at least 30 times.
This year’s congress – entitled Agency 2017 – will see hundreds of students from all over Australasia forming a week-long community: eating, sleeping, partying, designing, debating and learning together. Central to Agency 2017 will be a series of workshops, design/builds, lectures and debates, which will be attended by invited academics, designers and architects from around Australia and the world.
In the spirit of congresses past, Agency 2017 will be a “lived-agency” – a community living true to the values of the future we desire to create – and act as a beacon of hope for the incoming future generation of architects.
In light of rapid globalisation, Architecture has shifted from purely a means to provide shelter towards the alternate role of generating financial return. It is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it. In Sydney, the median house is worth over $1 million, while the median apartment is worth $650k+. Whilst this does come with detrimental societal impacts, there is simultaneously an enormous potential to mobilise capital to improve the social, cultural and economic life of the city.
Agency 2017 will question the centre and boundaries of the status-quo, seeking ideas from designers, artists, developers and policy-makers to ensure equitable access to the rich cultural life of the global city.
The themes we aim to address at the congress include:
- Why making matters: Why you we build (and why you should too!)
- What could an architectural start-up culture look like?
- Is the modern architecture student fit for practice? What is the expanded role of future practice?
- Reinventing traditional materials for modern architecture.
- What is the role of history, culture, art and ethics in the face of rapid economic change?
- Architects/Developers: mobilising capital for socially, economically and environmentally responsible outcomes.