Stories

Assemblage

The cultural fabric of cities, covering people and projects across art, architecture, design and cross-pollinated creativity with a focus on local makers and projects through to internationally good ideas.

Forgotten Lessons: Vann Molyvann and the New Khmer Architecture School 

Vann Molyvann, the most prolific architect of modern Cambodia, forged buildings that respected the natural flow of water, air and light. Researcher and urbanist Bruno Friedel, walks us through some of his key projects in Phnom Penh, and interrogates the legacy they have left behind. Vann Molyvann left a Cambodia plunged into political crisis and […]

Rachaporn Choochuey: The Art of Living Lightly

Understanding how people live is at the core of design director Rachaporn Choochuey’s practice. She’s the co-founder of Bangkok-based architecture studio all(zone), known for their playful projects which utilise reuse and recycling, while employing local materials and building techniques in innovative ways. Emma McRae sat down in conversation with Rachaporn, after her presentation at the […]

Refuge: When Art Meets Emergency

Protection from natural or human-made disasters in cities is often a top down affair, organised by federal or state government. What if communities were empowered to react with creative solutions in the face of catastrophe? Georgia Symons walks us through the interdisciplinary project Refuge at Arts House in Melbourne to discover what happens when art […]

Adrian Lahoud: The Legacy of Empire

Adrian Lahoud’s practice interrogates the intersection of architecture, climate change and colonisation. His curatorial strategy for Sharjah Architecture Triennial, ‘The Rights of Future Generations’, is the culmination of decades of research into the spatial consequences of conflict. Lauren Crockett sat down in conversation with Adrian, after his presentation at the Living Cities Forum in 2019.

Mabel O. Wilson: History is Invented

There are few people working on questions of race and the built environment – Mabel O. Wilson is at the forefront of this topic. She’s a Professor of Architecture at Columbia University and Associate Director at the Institute for Research in African American Studies. Nina Tory-Henderson sat down in conversation with Mabel, after her presentation at […]

Šejla Kamerić: Art is Resistance

Šejla Kamerić’s artistic practice is bold, political and deeply personal. She questions humanity's destructive behaviour and sees art as an act of resistance.

Mona: Skin in the Game

Mona has captured the hearts of many – financial freedom, combined with a willingness to take risks, has made this museum a genuinely experimental project, rejecting the unadventurous and embracing the new. Emma McRae delves into the museum’s history and how it has transformed the way Tasmanians, and Australians, view the island state. “When David […]

Glenn Murcutt: Touching the Earth Lightly

Australia's only Pritzker Prize winner is also the award's most unlikely recipient: Glenn Murcutt AO prefers to work alone, and has never built a single structure outside Australia. This choice reflects his dedication to working with the nuances of the local climate and natural conditions. As Glenn's MPavilion opens in Melbourne's Botanical Gardens, AP editor Jana Perković sits down to chat with Australia's most environmentally conscious architect about past and future legacies.

Lesley Lokko: Decolonising Architecture

Danielle Mileo caught up with Lesley after her lecture ‘What Pliny Said’ at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam late last year, to discuss the challenges around decolonisation and pedagogy in architectural education on the African continent.

Mary Featherston: The Slow Evolution of School

The design of our schools still reflects a belief in a hierarchical society: teachers up the front, students sitting passively. Designer Mary Featherston has been researching and developing learning environments for more than 40 years. She tells AP assistant editor Cat McGauran that young people deserve more from the education system.

Kirsha Kaechele: Transcending the Quagmire

Artist Kirsha Kaechele embraces complexity and contradiction that permeates attempts to do good in the world. Her art projects range from gun buyback programs to cleaning up rivers, and do not necessarily look like art to anyone but her. In her new project for Mona, she is proposing to solve the invasive species problem in Australia - by eating them.

Cascoland Kolenkit: Global Issues, Local Contexts

The neighbourhood of Kolenkit is not the sort of Amsterdam found in tourist brochures. But, in 2010, a group of community artists moved into “the most problematic neighbourhood in the Netherlands” and started working to improve Kolenkit's title. Rob Snelling tells the story of a community repaired with art and ingenuity.

Yandell Walton: Social Change, Small and Large 

Yandell Walton is alarmed by climate change. Emma McRae speaks to the Melbourne projection artist whose ephemeral installations probe the impermanence at the very heart of existence.

Janet Laurence: Empathy for Fragile Creatures

Over 30 years, artist Janet Laurence's installations have explored the interconnectedness of all living things: minerals, animals, us. A deeply ecological sensibility permeates her work, which sits between sculpture, architecture and environment. With her first major survey exhibition now on at Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Rafaela Pandolfini visits Janet's studio to talk feminism, gardening and the Anthropocene.

Place & the Afterlife: French & Mottershead

UK artist duo French & Mottershead invite participants to think again about who they are, and their ties to place and one another. Video, performance, photography and sound are woven together to create tangible stories about living in place, borne out of rigorous research. Recently, at Dark Mofo, they gently led us into death. Cat McGauran met with Andrew Mottershead to discuss life & decomposition.

Future Method: Land, Treaty, Property

Future Method Studio work across architecture, installation and speculative projects. Led by architecture practitioners and pedagogues Joel Sherwood-Spring and Genevieve Murray, Future Method is a unique practice in the Australian architecture landscape to put participation and decolonisation at the heart of their agenda.

Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA: The Artificial Belongs to Nature

Based in Tokyo, SAANA is a multi award-winning architecture practice, renowned for designs that are simple, yet exude a profound sense of purpose. In 2010, architect Keith Little took a highly coveted intern position at SAANA, where he learnt about the philosophy that shapes Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa's practice. Now, he returns to a dialogue with his former mentor.

Assemble: A Contradictory Space

The British architectural collective Assemble (no relation) was founded in 2010, at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, to explore other ways of doing architecture. Today, they are a force to be reckoned with, reforming both the built environment and the art world. Cat McGauran caught up with Jane Hall and Audrey Thomas-Hayes from the Turner Prize-winning collective.

Jack Self: Scepticism & Imagination

It is late 2018, and we're so embedded in a system of global capitalism that at times it seems inevitable. But like any human construct, it is not. Jack Self is an architect, editor and the director of the Real Foundation, a cultural institute that explores alternative models of housing ownership and design of project finance. His mission? To end capitalism.

Carme Pinós: A Social Constellation

For Catalan architect Carme Pinós, form follows social responsibility – beauty is a by-product of an architecture that places people, memory, context and physics first. Pinós's Mediterranean sensibility unfolds in her 2018 MPavilion commission here in Melbourne. She speaks to our editor Jana Perković about how buildings express their structure and architecture as an act of humanity.

Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness

Where European architecture starts with the exterior shape of the building, Asian buildings are imagined from the inside out. Curators of the acclaimed Indonesia Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018, Ary Indra and David Setiadi, elucidate how 'emptiness' is sculpted in Indonesian architecture, one remarkable building at a time.

Paola Balla: Blak Matriarchy

Much of Paola Balla's everyday work involves deconstructing the invisible privilege of whiteness. The Aboriginal artist and curator speaks with Jana Perković about blak matriarchal feminism, and being invited back to curate for a second time at ACCA.

Urbane Künste Ruhr: Art After Coal Mines

Once an industrial hub, Germany's Ruhr region has been forced to change with the global economy. The direction of those changes have been shaped significantly by the public and innovative art organisations like the Urbane Künste Ruhr, writes Manuel Zabel.

Embodying Future Forms: Bhenji Ra

At 23, Bhenji Ra fell in love with the fluid forms of gender expression she found in the Philippines. Eugenia Lim talks to Bhenji about the body as a site of political activism, western notions of gender and the ongoing push for recognition from the wider community.