Australian Architects Declare – one year anniversary
Architects Declare is a network of architectural practices committed to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency. The Architects Declare movement was launched in the UK in May 2019.
Under the wider banner of ‘Construction Declares’, or ‘Built Environment Declares’ it has now spread to more than 20 different countries, with over 5,000 signatories, and has been adopted by other related disciplines that have signed up to variations on the original 11-point declaration.
Encouraged by the UK’s initiative (and disappointed with the lack of climate action here) a small group of architects also launched the Australian Architects Declare movement in July 2019.
So, one year later. What have we learned? What have we achieved?
It’s now mid-late 2020. We are still in the midst of a global-pandemic. As the new year ticked over, many of us were optimistic that we’d find 2020 would be the year of ‘perfect vision’… when the world would gain some clarity and see things clearly as they are. This is potentially still the case; however this year has seen unprecedented extremes that we’ve had to contend with…starting with the devastating summer bushfire season, the global Covid-19 pandemic with loss of lives and liberties, Black Lives Matter awareness, economic recessions and more…but has the importance of climate action been overshadowed by the immediacy of everything else?
If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us; is that we are all in this together, and that we can no longer take for granted the importance of our health – and that this is intimately interconnected with both our kin and our country. Our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing all rely on our relationships with people and the planet. – Talina Edwards
Perhaps this year has given us all a chance to reflect on what’s really important.
- We’ve learnt how much our loved ones mean to us and that we are hardwired for social connection
- We’ve learnt how much we love fresh air and being outdoors in nature
- We’ve learnt that consumerist “stuff” doesn’t bring happiness or self-worth
- We’ve learnt the importance of slowing down our hectic lives
- We’ve learnt more about being caring and compassionate
- We’ve learnt that we can be incredibly adaptable
- We’ve learnt that by pausing we’ve given the earth a chance for some respite from our polluting activities
- We’ve learnt that we want a healthier, happier future
- We’ve learnt that our decisions affect how our future will unfold….
Perhaps these lessons have been our most important “achievements” this year.
In terms of other more traditionally ‘measurable’ achievements, the small dedicated team of volunteers behind Australian Architects Declare can also note the following:
Signatories (Registered Architects): 954 (Sign here!)
Supporters/Subscribers: 1067 (Subscribe to our news here!)
#ConstructionDeclares (23 countries worldwide have joined to date)
+ Landscape Architects Declare (AILA declared August 2019)
+ Engineers Declare (launched September 2019)
+ Builders Declare (launched June 2020)
+ Planners Declare (launched June 2020)
Carbon Neutral Campaign – hundreds of architects pledged their support (Thanks to Jeremy McLeod!)
- Green Power 31 Jan 2020
- Carbon Audit 31 June 2020
- Carbon Neutral 31 Dec 2020
Architects Declare Webinars (Watch here!)
- Building Materials
- Passive House
- Living Building Challenge
Thanks to our dedicated and passionate volunteers of the national Steering Committee!
Our current coordinators are:
VIC: Antony Di Mase, Steffen Welsch, Talina Edwards
NSW: Caroline Pidcock, Valerie Saavedra, Chiara Paolini
NT: Jo Best
SA: Cary Duffield
TAS: Andrew Shurman, Jess Murphy
QLD: Sam Bowstead
Thank you to the many others who’ve been actively involved with AAD!
This includes involvement with state steering-committees, events, media, working-groups and affiliated support over the past year. Gratitude goes out to Verity Campbell, Jeremy McLeod, Tahlia Hays, Paul Haar, Raphie Kruse, Toby Pond, Claire Bowles, Kathlyn Loseby, Helen Lochhead, Tobias Busch, Gemma Hohnen, Zoe Geyer, Nadine Samaha, Rachael Bernstone, Rachel Tanner, Bee Newman, Clare Kennedy, Nikolas Strugar, Andy Marlow, Jamileh Jahangiri, and many others! (Apologies in advance if anyone has been overlooked!)
Thank you again to our founding signatories!
ARM Architecture, Alec Tzannes, Bates Smart, Breathe Architecture, Brit Andresen, BVN, Circa Morris-Nunn, Clare Design, Design 5, DWP Design Worldwide Partnership, FJMT, The Fulcrum Agency, Glenn Murcutt, Greenaway Architects, Gregory Burgess Architects, Hassell, Jackson Clements Burrows, John Wardle Architects, Ken Maher, Kerstin Thompson Architects, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Liminal Studio, Partners Hill, Peter Stutchbury, Rick Leplastrier, Six Degrees, Taylor and Hinds Architects, TKD Architects, Troppo, and Woods Bagot.
Thanks to ALL signatories! (See the full list here)
Thanks to all our supporters! (Join us here)
Some of the other actions we have taken include:
- Fortnightly National Steering Committee meetings (about 30 now)
- AAD Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan prepared
- Working Groups formed (Regenerative Design, Communications/Website/Events, Tech/Targets/Tools, Advocacy, Research, Sustainability Action Plan Templates)
- Preparation of draft Sustainability Action Templates for practices
- International Architects Declare connections/meetings
- Connection with allies/affiliates: Architecture Declare Canada, Architecture 2030 AIA USA, Architecture Declare + LETI + RIBA UK
- Contribution to the AIA Climate Action + Sustainability Task Group
- Submission to AACA on the National Standards of Competency for Architects
- Plus numerous talks/presentations/seminars by our spokesperson Caroline Pidcock and other steering committee members.
Thanks to all the Media articles about Architects Declare too:
So what’s next? Watch this space!
- Sign the Declaration
- Sign up to our news
- Go Carbon Neutral
- Follow us on social media
- Join our online discussion group
- Watch our webinars
We invite you to consider how you are responding to each point of the declaration – both personally and professionally (whether you are a signatory or a supporter).
Since the Australian Architects Declare movement began one year ago, the biggest change I’ve made to my practice of architecture is…………
- (PLUS More information on our website and working-groups and next call to action to follow soon!)
This article was written by Talina Edwards, one of the co-ordinators and leaders of the Architects Declare movement.