Addressing Cultural, Social, Environmental Sustainability in Architecture: The Approach of Five Contemporary Australian Architects

By Adriano Paolella and Giamila Quattrone.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Regionalist architecture offers a promising and conscientious response to the present scenario of growing trend toward cultural, social and technical globalization. It has a great potential to preserve local cultural identities, despite the spread of global culture, to define possible relationships between construction and natural, cultural, political, economic and social factors, to combine traditional approaches and technical skills creatively and to suggest a new role for designers, as active subjects in dialogue with the manufacturing sector. An exemplary regionalist approach to contemporary architecture is given by a niche of Australian architects sensitive to the relation between communities and technical skills, dwelling patterns and building techniques, who tend to reduce the environmental load of construction through the use of local resources, who adopt community design processes and combine tradition with creative innovation. Glenn Murcutt, Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury,
Gregory Burgess and Troppo Architects, who, learning from Aboriginal people’s sacred respect for the land, balance the tension between global needs and local expressions, by listening to people and place, preserving traditional
lifestyle preferences and combining new technologies with historic building types.

Keywords: Regionalist Architecture, Sustainable Architecture, Creative Innovation, Tradition, Social Behaviours

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.39-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.051MB).

Prof. Adriano Paolella

Associate Professor, Dipartimento DASTEC, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy

Associate Professor of Architectural Technology at the Faculty of Architecture of Reggio Calabria, he teaches “Environmental Design and Renewal Techniques” (3rd year subject) and “Architectural Technology” (5th year subject) and is coordinator of the TRESA “Technologies for the Ecological and Social Development of Living Spaces” Research Unit. He is a permanent member of the PhD Panel in Architectural Technology at the DASTEC Department and he is often appointed as a committee member to assess doctoral theses in Environmental Design. From 1995 to 2003 he was General Secretary of the IAED - International Association for Environmental Design - of which he has been President since 2004. In the editorial field he founded in 2004 the international journal II Progetto dell'Abitare, of which he has been editor-in-chief since then; from 1976 to 1998 he was editor of the cultural journal Dismisura, in 1985 he founded Fines-Rivista di Studi Territoriali e Ambientali, which he ran until 1990; from 1995 to 2003 he was editor-in-chief of the journal Attenzione, published by Edicomp and WWF. Since 1995 he has been editor-in-chief of Tevere, the Tevere Basin Authority’s journal.

Giamila Quattrone

PhD Candidate, Dipartimento DASTEC, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy

PhD Candidate in Architectural Technology at the Faculty of Architecture of Reggio Calabria (Italy), supervisors Prof. Adriano Paolella, Prof. Consuelo Nava, she is currently Visitor Research Associate at the School of Architecture and Built Environment of Newcastle (Australia). Here she has been carrying out a research titled "Housing patterns and technology for local contemporary architecture. For a contextual innovation in building environmental design: innovation and tradition in Australian design culture", with the sponsorship of the 2006 Endeavour Europe Awards from the Australian Government and the supervision of Prof. Michael J. Ostwald, June 2006-June 2007. Interested in the relations between dwelling patterns and technology underlying regionalist architecture, she focuses on the environmental, social and cultural appropriateness of Australian contemporary architecture based on use of local resources, on morphological, material and visual integration of buildings into their settings, on context-specific innovation and critical interpretation of regional settlement and dwelling patterns, lifestyles and material culture. Case studies are Glenn Murcutt, Gregory Burgess, Peter Stutchbury, Richard Leplastrier, Troppo Architects, which she has been investigating since her participation in the 2004 Glenn Murcutt Master Class through research papers presented at international conferences and published in the journal II Progetto dell'Abitare, of which she is one of the managing editors.


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