The Venice Architecture Biennale launched on the weekend. As the new Australian pavilion is under construction the Australian exhibition for Venice uses augmented reality apps to create Augmented Australia, a virtual, mobile exhibition.
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A groovy shopping mall is a contradiction in terms for many people. Yet that is what has just opened at the Central Park development on Sydney’s Broadway. As malls go the new one is small but it’s illuminated from above by a Jean Nouvel-designed heliostat and according to the Herald, has the personality of ‘a well-dressed hipster with a short attention span’.
My new book Designer Suburbs: Architects and affordable homes in Australia is back from the printers and will be launched soon. Designer Suburbs began a couple of years back when our former curatorial colleague Judith O’Callaghan asked me if I’d like to co-author a book about the architect-designed project homes of the 1960s and 1970s.
The current debate over the Barangaroo development recalls similar controversies during the 1980s, when the Darling Harbour precinct was being redeveloped. At one stage during the creation of Darling Harbour NSW premier Neville Wran, the main driver of the project, observed sarcastically that ‘we are going to hold a number of competitions for sculpture and civic works and it may well be appropriate that one subject be a white elephant surrounded by knockers rampant’.Both projects are among the numerous port areas recycled into new urban precincts.