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Stories of Earth: Echoes in Architecture

A one-day event intended to reframe, reconnect and restore. 

In his 2024 essay, ‘Enough? Architecture and the Sufficiency Imperative’, Professor Daniel Barber asks: 

In its quest for efficiency and performance, sustainable architecture has only made us want more—more buildings, more extraction, more stuff. What if architects crafted new desires, within planetary limits?

As we hurtle towards exceeding those planetary limits, join some of the world’s most celebrated architects as they present a hopeful vision for a purpose-led profession – rooted in a return to people, place and planet, over profit alone.

We are now virtually certain to exceed our planetary limits, and we face the real possibility of a 3 degree rise in average global temperatures within the lifetime of buildings architects are designing today.

What does architectural practice look like in this new reality?

If architecture is to retain its purpose and integrity, architects must recommit to those fundamental cultural influences that give architecture its meaning. 

Practicing in Slovenia, Marusa Zorec believes “We belong to those places we come from. They define us and we define them with the interventions we do.  My land is very much defined by nature and history, it is full of stories and layers of the past. Is modern architecture capable of awakening people's sense of belonging?”

Architects can and must do more than conform to the targets, offsets and compliance checklists that have got us here; or that have at least have failed to stop the rise and rise of emissions, and its devastating impacts on communities around the world. 

According to Marina Tabassum “the displacement of people poses a major crisis induced by climate crisis, disparity in human conditions, war and conflict. People are living in transition for indefinite period of time while life is being lived. As architects what can we offer as dignified living and how?”

‘Stories of Earth: Echoes in Architecture’ brings to Sydney four highly recognised international architects on 14 September 2024. Marusa Zorec (Solvenia), Rick Joy (US), Marina Tabassum (Bangladesh) and Niall Mclaughlin (UK) join Peter Stutchbury and other gold medal winning architects at a fully catered one day event inside the Chau Chak Wing auditorium and on Sydney’s much-loved Goods Line.

The work is varied but coalesces to represent mutual values. Practice scale and project environments are expansive; from London to Ljubljana to Tucson to Dhaka, representing a cross-section of international architecture and cultural influences.

Each architect has a body of work that speaks of the radical alongside the intelligent: from fine-grain insertions into ancient towns to significant urban infill buildings, from crafted singular objects to beautifully humble shelters, ‘Stories of Earth’ is an anthology of purposeful architecture from around the world; asking questions of responsibility, methodology and art.

This collection of speakers offers a unique opportunity to be inspired by an architecture of integrity.

Fully catered event on the day.

**Up to 5 formal hours of CPD**


Marina Tabassum
The first confrontation in professional life surfaced with the commodification of architecture as I witnessed the global tendency towards instant gratification and industrially-produced anthropogenic materials devised to standardise the entire globe. The perennial quest for identity that was a struggle since childhood seemed more diluted with high-flying capitalist culture.

Niall Mclaughlin
The way to make good architecture – that is, to respond with dignity to the relentless jostling of theoretical positions and of the buildings themselves – can be to say very little indeed and just to enquire into what a particular place might, by way of buildings, most need

Rick Joy
What we're trying to do is be very honest with ourselves and really respectful of the place, so we can come to some truth and work from that moment

Marusa Zorec
There are places that we return to again and again because by inhabiting them we rediscover something essential about ourselves

Uncle Dean
Culture is life, without it we have nothing and become lost

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